Over twenty percent of the deputies in Klamath County, Oregon have asked to be placed on paid leave as they fear retaliation and a hostile work environment after a sheriff beat a handcuffed suspect.
The Oregon Department of Justice confirmed on Monday that Sheriff Frank Skrah is under investgation for allegedly using excessive force on the restrained man.
Seven of the county’s 30 deputies had been granted requests for “non-disciplinary” paid leave.
Sputnik News reports: An attorney representing the deputies, Becky Gallagher, told Raw Story that the reason for the request was a need for protection, as the sheriff’s actions placed his entire office in danger.
“The Klamath County Peace Officers Association went to the county and asked for some protection for its members,” Gallagher explained. “They were concerned about retaliation and a hostile workplace.”
The Sheriff’s Office employs 30 deputies, and seven of them have been granted paid leave.
“The Klamath County Board of County Commissioners today confirmed that over the last four days, Klamath County has placed seven deputies on non-disciplinary paid administrative leave, per their requests,” the county said in a press release.
Following the county’s press release, the sheriff fired off a statement of his own, expressing obvious frustration with the decision.
“Placing these individuals on paid leave was done without consulting with me or my command staff,” the release from Sheriff Frank Skrah stated.
“I will do everything possible, together with my command staff too keep patrols operating for the benefit of the citizens of Klamath County,” Skrah continued.
In the meantime, Oregon State Troopers will be stepping in to assist the under manned department.