City manager discharged gun in civic center office

City Manager Chris Eppley

Longtime Keizer City Manager Chris Eppley discharged a firearm in his office inside the Keizer Civic Center around noon on Thursday, March 4.

According to a press release, the Keizer City Council has retained an outside investigator to investigate the accidental discharge of a firearm by Eppley. No one was injured in this incident. 

“To protect the integrity of the investigation, no additional information will be released at this time,” said Kathy Peck, the city’s attorney for human resources.

Keizertimes has requested a copy of an incident report stemming from discharge of the weapon, but had not received a reply before the press release was distributed.

Keizer Police Department officials said they had no knowledge of the incident and it does not appear on a daily log of police calls from March 4.

Carrying a firearm on city property would appear to be a violation of the city’s personnel policies.

“The types of conduct listed below are strictly prohibited: Being in possession of guns and weapons on city property, including in parking lots or in city vehicles unless approved in writing by the city manager, chief of police or human resource manager,” the city’s personnel policy handbook states.

The handbook states employees with concealed carry licenses are permitted to have a weapon “in an employee’s locked vehicle in a city parking lot.”

Oregon law (ORS 163.195) allows those who discharge firearms, other than police officers or a resident acting in self defense, to be charged with a recklessly endangering another person.

As city manager, Eppley functions as Keizer’s chief executive officer and reports to the Keizer City Council. Every other department director, including the Keizer police chief, reports to the city manager. Eppley’s salary alone is more than $160,000.

It will be up to city councilors to mete out any consequences. The Keizer city manager is hired by the council and may be dismissed at any time according to the city’s website.

A professional code of ethics on the city manager’s page of the website states that it is among the duties to: “Be dedicated to the highest ideals of honor and integrity in all public and personal relationships in order that the member may merit the respect and confidence of the elected officials, other officials, employees and the public.”