Updated at 12:25 p.m., Monday, May 22, to include breaking news that local police have forwarded investigation to an outside agency.
Washougal Police Chief Ron Mitchell has requested that an outside agency take over an investigation into Washougal Mayor Sean Guard’s alleged harassment of a local resident.
“On May 17, 2017, the Washougal Police Department received a citizens complaint of potential harassment,” Washougal Police Detective Kate Tierney said last week, adding then that local law enforcement detectives were “in the early stages of this investigation to determine if any crimes were committed.”
Tierney said today that the local police department expects to hear back from the unnamed outside agency by the end of this week.
The allegations and investigation follow a contentious series of online posts made by Washougal resident Glenn Kincaid earlier this week, charging that the Washougal mayor has been harassing at least one local woman via phone messenger, sending her sexually explicit messages for more than a year
“I watched this escalate for a really long time,” Kincaid told the Post-Record this evening. “I am a successful businessman here for 28 years. And I had this information about our mayor. So I went on Facebook three nights ago and I showed everyone the screenshots I’d taken from this girl’s phone.”
Since then, Kincaid said, he has heard from several other women who have similar complaints. None of the women have yet come forward to speak on the record about their allegations, but one person did file a formal complaint to the Washougal Police Department last week.
In Washington, harassment is a gross misdemeanor in most cases and a class C felony under certain circumstances.
This is not the first time that Guard has come under police investigation. In 2010, after being charged with second-degree criminal impersonation of a police officer, Guard entered a “Newton plea,” which meant, he told the Post-Record at that time, that he was pleading guilty without agreeing to the facts entered, “but acknowledging that there is a simple possibility that a jury could possibly” have found him guilty. The impersonation charge came after Washington State Patrol officers, following up on reports of a person — allegedly Guard — using emergency lights to get slower traffic to move out of his way in the left lane, pulled the mayor over on Interstate 5 near Kelso, Washington. A judge later ordered Guard to pay a $500 fine and do 25 hours’ worth of community service as restitution.
Mayor Sean Guard, who recently announced he is running for a third term, said he had no comment regarding the harassment allegations.
But Washougal City Council member Brent Boger said this evening that he believes the allegations are a political move on the part of Kincaid.
“(Kincaid) has a great deal of malice toward the mayor,” Boger said. “There are some divisions in the Clark County Republican party … (and) Kincaid is part of the far right.”
Boger added that Kincaid and Guard have known each other since high school days and that, while Boger has only known of Kincaid through political channels, he would take what the Washougal businessman says with a grain of salt.
“I would be skeptical of Kincaid,” Boger said, adding that he thought it “pretty unlikely” that the police would bring charges against the mayor.
Asked about his reasons for divulging in a series of public Facebook posts what appeared to be sexually explicit phone messages from Guard — or someone pretending to be Guard — Kincaid admitted that politics played a role.
“I’m a conservative Republican patriot,” Kincaid said. “I’m actually more of a Libertarian … and the mayor doesn’t do anything for us … there are 200 Republican conservatives out here who wanted to get that incumbent RINO (Republican in Name Only) Guard out of there. I had no idea I was going to do it all by myself.”
This is an ongoing story and will be updated on www.camaspostrecord.com throughout the week before appearing in next week’s print edition of the Post-Record.
Reporter Dawn Feldhaus contributed to this story.