PRESS RELEASE: Mayor Sean Guard releases statement regarding Cowlitz Court Case

December 16, 2011

Mayor Sean Guard (photo Martha Martin)

PRESS RELEASE: Statement provided by Mayor Sean Guard December 15, 2011.

“While it is not like me to plead guilty to something I know I did not do, today I entered a Newton/Alford plea to a misdemeanor charge in Cowlitz County District Court.

A Newton plea is pleading guilty without agreeing to the facts entered, but acknowledging that there is a simple possibility that a jury could possibly find me guilty.

I know three things about that afternoon nearly a year ago when I was stopped in a city vehicle.  I know what I did, I know what I did not do and I also know that whatever my actions were, they caused another person to contact authorities.  For that I certainly apologize and I take responsibility for doing anything that would cause another motorist to contact authorities.

I have spent all of my life respecting and working on behalf of law enforcement officers.  I have an understanding of the responsibility that they have and I am personally embarrassed that I would ever be accused of “impersonating” a police officer.

For the good of our community and my family, however, it is time for this issue to end.  The tragedies in the last week remind me what real problems are in this world and it is time for us to continue doing good things without this distraction continuing.  There are too many positive things happening in Washougal, and I need to concentrate my time and efforts on them.  I am as committed as ever to helping Washougal heal and move forward.

This incident has changed my wife and I as individuals.  We are the kind of people who would stop and help people who are broken down on the side of the road, lending a phone to call for help, changing a tire and even giving people a ride home or to help.  All of that has changed.  Unfortunately as a result of all of this we do not even take the chance that someone will misconstrue any intentions or offers of assistance.

Again, I apologize to our community for doing anything that has brought negative attention to Washougal and I look forward to moving beyond this and continuing our good work.  I love Washougal and the progress we have made in such a short period of time.  My wife and I appreciate all of the calls and messages from so many people who have kept us in their thoughts.  In the end, it is less about me personally and more about what is good for our community.

This is the final comment I will have on this issue.  For any further comments, please contact Kris Carrasco at 360-906-7234.”

Statement made by Mayor Sean Guard, City of Washougal, WA