Washougal mayor hires new attorney

Sean Guard's court dates are rescheduled to October

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The pre-trial hearing for Washougal Mayor Sean Guard has been continued to Thursday, Oct. 6, in Cowlitz County District Court.

It had been scheduled for Aug. 31 — the same day that Guard’s new attorney Jeffrey Barrar filed a notice of appearance. Guard’s previous attorney Aaron Bartlett has served as a deputy prosecuting attorney in Cowlitz County since Sept. 1.

Another former defense attorney Luka Vitasovic entered a plea of not guilty on Guard’s behalf with the Cowlitz County District Court clerk July 5. Guard faces a charge of second degree criminal impersonation.

The jury trial has been rescheduled to Oct. 21. Guard could face zero 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.