The Klamath County Board of Commissioners has requested that Sheriff Frank Skrah take voluntary administrative leave while the Oregon Department of Justice investigates the department. Skrah has been accused of punching a handcuffed suspect and is under investigation by Oregon's DOJ for excessive force, according to the Raw Story.
"We believe it would be best for his office, best for community safety and best for Sheriff Skrah if he would go on administrative leave until the DOJ matter is resolved," Klamath County Commissioner Kelley Minty Morris said, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Seven Klamath County deputies have taken non-disciplinary administrative leave, according to NPR.
Eugene attorney Becky Gallagher, who represents the Klamath County Peace Officers Association, said the deputies requested to be placed on leave because they feared retaliation from Skrah. Gallagher said the deputies were interviewed by the Oregon Department of Justice as part of an investigation of Skrah.
"There were concerns about workplace harassment and retaliation by the sheriff," said Gallagher. "So for their safety we sought protective leave. The county agreed and those deputies, who requested, were placed on paid administrative leave."
The county board said it believes if Skrah takes leave, the deputies will return to their posts. Gallager says at least one of the deputies has filed a complaint with the Oregon Employment Relations Board against the sheriff.