Two months after opening an investigation involving Washougal Mayor Sean Guard, the Washington State Patrol has completed its report and forwarded the matter to the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
WSP Lieutenant Randy Hullinger said last week that WSP had closed its investigation on Aug. 7, and turned its findings over to prosecutors, who will make the decision on whether or not to press charges.
A spokesperson for the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said the matter was “being reviewed by the major crimes team” and that Chief Criminal Deputy Camara Banfield currently has the file.
Calls to Banfield’s office were unanswered in time for this newspaper’s print deadline. The Post-Record has filed a public records request to review WSP’s report.
The case against Guard began in mid-May, after the Washougal Police Department received a citizen’s complaint alleging that Guard was harassing a local resident.
Unable to investigate the city’s mayor, Washougal Police Chief Ron Mitchell requested that an outside agency take over the investigation. WSP picked up the case in early June.
The allegations and investigation followed a series of contentious, online messages posted by a Washougal-area man named Glenn Kincaid in early May, which accused the Washougal mayor of sending a local woman unwanted, sexually explicit messages via phone messenger for more than a year.
“I watched this escalate for a really long time,” Kincaid told the Post-Record in May. “I am a successful businessman here for 28 years. And I had this information about our mayor. So I went on Facebook … and I showed everyone the screenshots I’d taken from this girl’s phone.”
In Washington, harassment is a gross misdemeanor in most cases and a class C felony under certain circumstances.
Guard, a Washougal native and two-term mayor, withdrew his name from the 2017 Washougal mayoral race in late May, saying then that he had “endured vicious attacks” against himself and his campaign, and that he believed the attacks were “completely politically motivated by precinct committee members of the far-right wing of the Clark County Republican Party.”
Guard said that when those same people went after his family and supporters, he decided to put the needs of his loved ones over his political aspirations.
“If these attacks were only directed at me, I would fight these accusations to the end. When they start attacking my family and supporters, however, that is unconscionable. I value my family and friends above all else, and to put politics above that is just not me,” Guard said in late May. “I have been humbled by the immense outpouring of support that we have received in the last week and I am heartened that so many people do not condone Trump-style politics.”
Guard also said he had no plans to resign and intended to carry out the rest of his term, which goes through the end of December.
Reporter Dawn Feldhaus contributed to this report.