Sheriff Skrah files suit against commissioners, deputies union

Klamath Falls, Ore. — Klamath County Sheriff Frank Skrah has filed a lawsuit against the Klamath County Commissioners, and the Klamath County Peace Officers Association, or ‘K.C.P.O.A.’…and the Sheriff is demanding that 7 deputies on paid leave return to duty.

Klamath County Commissioner Kelley Minty Morris notes that the lawsuit was filed Monday afternoon…

“We were made aware that there was a lawsuit filed in Klamath County Circuit Court, naming the county and the K.C.P.O.A. as defendants.”

7 deputies requested paid leave after taking part in an Oregon Department of Justice criminal investigation against Sheriff Frank Skrah.

The suit contends that by letting the deputies go on paid leave, the Commissioners allowed an illegal ‘strike’, in violation of the union’s bargaining agreement.

The commissioners claim the leaves were granted under ‘whistle-blower’ protection.

Commissioner Morris:  “While those documents are public information, I can’t comment on them as it is pending litigation.”

While Sheriff Skrah has not requested help from outside law enforcement, the suit claims the deputy shortage has left the office ‘dangerously understaffed’.

Sheriff Skrah has also asked the deputies on leave to turn in their guns and badges.

Morris says that is not a decision for the commissioners…

“That is an issue that needs to be resolved between the Klamath County Sheriff, and the K.C.P.O.A.”

The K.C.P.O.A. has filed a separate lawsuit against Skrah claiming unfair labor practices.

The Commissioners have requested that Sheriff Skrah go on leave until the criminal investigation is completed.

Skrah remains on active duty.

The board believes the 7 deputies will return to work if Skrah goes on leave.

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