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Klamath County board of commissioners issued press release regarding investigation of Klamath County Sheriff Chris Kaber

Klamath County, Oregon – In recent months, multiple requests for access to records have been made to Klamath County. These requests are about a probe done by Carroll Consulting, LLC, a separate company hired for investigation.

This probe was set up by the Klamath County Counsel’s Office. Its purpose was to give advice to the Klamath County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) about their legal position regarding BOCC Resolution 2018-016. This resolution, approved by BOCC members on February 6, 2018, acknowledged that Sheriff Chris Kaber had suggested a way to manage his sons. This was to avoid any potential conflicts of interest in their management.

Recently, the actions of Sheriff Kaber raised worries among the BOCC that he wasn’t sticking to a previously agreed resolution. In particular, in June 2023, Sheriff Kaber alone decided to appoint his son, Sgt. Ryan Kaber, as Sergeant Detective. According to Klamath County’s Human Resources Policy 409, if there’s a chance that a violation of ORS Chapter 244 might be happening or has happened, the Director of Human Resources or their representative must inform the Oregon Government Ethics Commission about the possible violation.

On June 20, 2023, Klamath County filed a complaint with the Oregon Government Ethics Commission, as was necessary. The BOCC initiated this probe to check if there were any breaches of the resolution. Unfortunately, the investigation revealed not only breaches of the resolution but also other favoritism issues in the Sheriff’s Office.

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Therefore, to safeguard all staff in Klamath County, the BOCC withdrew Resolution 2018-16 on September 27, 2023. Earlier, requests to see this report were rejected because the details of the investigation were protected under Oregon Public Records Law.

The BOCC had chosen not to give up their right to keep attorney-client conversations private, which kept the document from being publicly released. The BOCC was worried about possible backlash against the county employees named in the report if it was released.

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However, recently, those mentioned in the report have asked for it to be released without any edits. Now attached is the complete, unedited Carroll Consulting, LLC investigation report from September 22, 2023. With many complaints from different people, the BOCC has a duty to conduct fair and unbiased investigations for Klamath County.

Gideon Fairchild

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