Local sheriff and sons could lose benefits

MEDFORD, Ore. – Wednesday (12/27/2023) is the deadline for the sheriff and his two sons at the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office.

The county gave Sheriff Chris Kaber and his sons a set amount of days to decide who will resign from the agency, because the county has a policy against nepotism.

The Oregon Government Ethics Commission is investigating the situation.

Sheriff Chris Kaber faces an ultimatum, where either he resigns and his two sons stay at KCSO, or both his sons resign, while he remains with the agency.

This all comes as Sheriff Kaber directly supervised his son, Ryan Kaber.

The case is under investigation by the state ethics commission and is expected to release a decision by February.

Meanwhile, the Klamath County HR department issued letters to the Kabers this fall, notifying them that their benefits would expire if the changes were not made by tomorrow.

When KOBI-5 spoke to Sheriff Kaber last week, he made it clear that he believed neither HR nor the Board of Commissioners, had the power to force any resignations, within his office.

Sheriff Kaber said,

“The statutes that the laws of the state of Oregon, they give the sheriffs; not just me, all sheriffs in the State of Oregon have the authority and the mandate to run and operate their own office as they see fit… Well, I’m telling you they’re not resigning, so it’s not really a resignation, it’s a forced termination of their employment.”

Sheriff Kaber argues that his son never ended up switching positions, so the violation never came to fruition.

He also said that he has offered mediation with both HR and the commissioners but says no progress has been made.

We reached out to the Klamath County Human Resources Department, but the office said because it is a personnel matter, it could not comment.

Besides the removal of their benefits, it is not known what would exactly happen if none of the Kabers decide to resign.

© 2024 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

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.
Skip to content