Washougal mayor faces charge of impersonating a law enforcement officer

Sean Guard to appear in court for arraignment July 6

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Sean Guard

Washougal Mayor Sean Guard will be expected to appear in Cowlitz County District Court, to enter a plea on a charge of second degree criminal impersonation.

His arraignment for the gross misdemeanor of impersonating a law enforcement officer is scheduled for Wednesday, July 6, at 2:30 p.m., at the Hall of Justice, in Kelso. Guard could face 0 to 365 days in jail, and the maximum fine for a gross misdemeanor is $5,000.

He was stopped by a State Patrol trooper on Dec. 24, 2010, along I-5 near Kelso. The trooper responded to a dispatch issued after someone called 911 about a person who was using emergency lights in order to get slower traffic to move out of the left lane.

Guard said the car – a 1995 Ford Taurus previously driven by former Police Chief Bob Garwood – does not have emergency lights. He said he was alternating between the use of no front lights to high beams to get the attention of drivers who were traveling in front of him at speeds lower than the speed limit.

“The left lane is the passing lane,” Guard said, in December. “That’s the way I drive. There are signs along I-5 that say the left lane is for passing only.”

When reached by phone Wednesday, Guard said he did not know a charge had been filed.

“I have not had any communication with the prosecutor’s office,” he said. “I have not received any notice.”

Guard was a Camas reserve police officer for approximately five years in the 1980s.

At the time of the traffic stop, he was traveling to the South Tacoma area with a woman and two children.

Guard continued to decline to identify them Wednesday.

“It’s still not important,” he said.

Guard has previously said they had been out to breakfast and Christmas shopping.

In January, the Washougal City Council amended a chapter in the city’s personnel policies, to include language that prohibits the assignment of take home vehicles to elected officials.

Guard returned the former police car to the city’s surplus fleet on Jan. 3. It had been assigned to him in the early part of 2010.