Tags: sheriff frank skrah | administrative | leave | investigation

Sheriff Frank Skrah Put on Leave Amid DOJ Investigation in Oregon

Image: Sheriff Frank Skrah Put on Leave Amid DOJ Investigation in Oregon
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By    |   Thursday, 27 Aug 2015 08:34 AM

Sheriff Frank Skrah, of Klamath County, Oregon, was asked to take a voluntary administrative leave this week after seven deputies requested the same out of fear of retaliation from the sheriff after accusations of workplace harassment emerged.

The Oregon Department of Justice interviewed the deputies as part of an investigation into Skrah's conduct in office, attorney Becky Gallagher told Oregon Public Broadcasting. Gallagher is representing the officers, who are members of the Klamath County Peace Officers Association.

Gallagher first filed a complaint on behalf of Cpl. Daren Krag, president of the Klamath County Peace Officers Association, with the Oregon Employment Relations Board in May.

The complaint accused Skrah of retaliating against the deputy by changing his schedule and refusing to give him overtime.

"There were concerns about workplace harassment and retaliation by the sheriff," Gallagher said. "So for their safety we sought protective leave. They county agreed and those deputies who requested were placed on paid administrative leave."

Skrah complained in a statement Wednesday that he does know the details of the justice department's investigation, which began in July.

"One month later I still have not been advised as to the specific nature of that investigation nor have I been interviewed by representatives of the Oregon Department of Justice," Skrah said in his statement.

"I am learning more about the Oregon Department of Justice investigation and learning about an internal county investigation just like the rest of the public, from media reports," the sheriff added.

The Oregonian reported that the initial investigation involves a complaint of excessive use of force in one incident in which Skrah allegedly hit a handcuffed suspect, according to three unnamed sources. Department of Justice spokeswoman Kristina Edmunson declined to give details of the investigation to the newspaper but confirmed that one was underway.

"The board of commissioners is currently assessing whether this puts us at risk in terms of being able to protect the public safety," Klamath County commissioner Kelly Minty Morris told the newspaper of the administrative leaves.

Skrah was elected sheriff in 2012 after serving as a Los Angeles police officer and an investigator for California's judicial department, according to The Oregonian.

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Sheriff Frank Skrah, of Klamath County, Oregon, was asked to take a voluntary administrative leave this week after seven deputies requested the same out of fear of retaliation from the sheriff after accusations of workplace harassment emerged.
sheriff frank skrah, administrative, leave, investigation
360
2015-34-27
Thursday, 27 Aug 2015 08:34 AM
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