- Associated Press - Friday, January 22, 2016

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) - A Klamath County sheriff’s deputy claims that Sheriff Frank Skrah retaliated against her because of her involvement in a criminal investigation that led to Skrah being charged with nine misdemeanors.

Deputy Geneva Lewis and her attorney have filed a tort letter saying Lewis has grounds to sue Klamath County for damages, reported the Herald & News (https://bit.ly/1RDEEoQ ).

Lewis was hired as a deputy in 2012 and promoted to detective in 2014. In 2013, she was injured during a K-9 demonstration and placed on light duty.

Lewis said Skrah began trying to fire her after she was interviewed about his conduct by the Department of Justice last spring. Skrah said she was medically unable to perform her role as a detective.

But Lewis says she had already been injured when she out-tested two other applicants for the detective position in 2014 and that her medical condition didn’t prevent her from being able to investigate cases or contact suspects.

Lewis said the human resource manager was misled by Skrah and forced her to take medical leave in July. Skrah then eliminated the detective position.

She returned to work in August with a medical release from her doctor. The demotion came with a 9 percent pay decrease, said Lewis.

Her letter also suggested a level of gender discrimination. As of Thursday, Lewis had yet to formally file suit.

Skrah has pleaded not guilty to assault, attempted assault, strangulation, harassment and official misconduct in the Department of Justice case.

Skrah said Thursday that he could not comment on Lewis’ letter because of county policy regarding potential litigation, but said he wished he could share his side of the story.

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Information from: Herald and News, https://www.heraldandnews.com

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