Complaint filed against Klamath County Sheriff for potential nepotism

MEDFORD, Ore. – The Klamath County Sheriff is under investigation by the State Ethics Commission.

Sheriff Chris Kaber appointed his son, who is a sergeant with the same agency, to a different position.

Klamath County has a policy against the direct or indirect supervision of family members who work in the same department.

The Board of Commissioners then asked the Oregon Government Ethics Commission to look into the matter.

A state ethics complaint was filed in June, by County Commissioner Derek DeGroot, against Sheriff Chris Kaber.

He reassigned his son, Ryan Kaber to a sergeant position, supervising the detective division.

Sheriff Kaber’s attorney argues that it was necessary since the division was “deteriorating.”

He says its’ a lateral move with no pay bump.

However, because the position comes with a four percent clothing allowance, the county argued that could be seen as financial gain, even if Ryan Kaber didn’t take the clothing allowance.

The county also said, the position was not open to other interested applicants.

DeGroot said, “you can’t have any direct or indirect supervision of a family member, period. It’s not allowed. This is an extremely unfortunate position. The sheriff has made choices that has left the board of commissioners without the choices.

The ethics commission’s preliminary review says Sheriff Kaber did not supervise his son directly.

Sheriff Kaber has two sons who work at the department.

The county had an agreement with the family that allowed them to work together, so long as there was no direct supervision.

Because county leaders feel that the agreement was violated, the Kabers will have 90 days to decide who will stay with the agency.

That means either Sheriff Kaber can stay, or his two sons can, if he resigns.

The state government ethics commission is expected to make its decision in February.

Sheriff Kaber was out of town and told us he was unable to comment.

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Maximus Osburn is a reporter for NBC5 News. He studied at California State University-Northridge, graduating with a degree in Broadcasting. Maximus is an avid martial arts enthusiast and combat sports fan. He even traveled to Thailand to train with martial arts experts. Maximus loves movies, nature, and doing things outside his comfort zone, like swimming in sub-freezing lakes in the winter.
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