Oregon court records show that Washougal mayoral candidate Derik Ford was charged with domestic violence in 2015 and later sentenced to two years of formal probation and participate in an anti-violence intervention program. domestic violence after violating a restraining order.
In May 2015, Ford’s wife filed for a restraining order to prevent abuse, alleging that Ford had attempted to harm her physically and placed her “in fear of imminent bodily harm” after an argument that would have turned to physical. According to Oregon court records obtained by the Post-Record, Ford’s wife told police her husband had caught her while trying to climb stairs following an argument, the knocking back and hitting the floor and wall.
In her request for a restraining order, she said Ford continued to harass her in the weeks following the incident, allegedly making “verbally abusive phone calls”, hacking into her social media accounts, becoming “progressively more erratic” , repeatedly calling his mobile and professional phones. and by making “various threats to ruin (her), make her (her) suffer … make (her) life miserable”.
Ford’s wife told the court she believed her husband was angry that he lost his property and money after he filed for a divorce.
“He is a former law enforcement officer and (a) an extremely aggressive personality,” she wrote in her request for a restraining order, adding that Ford also had access to guns.
The Washington County Circuit Court in Oregon granted Ford’s wife a restraining order in late May 2015.
Less than three months later, according to court records, Ford was back in court, accused of violating the terms of the restraining order after “sending numerous texts to (a) friend in an attempt to come to terms with Mrs. Ford “.
According to Oregon State Bar, a person arrested for violating a restraining order can be charged with “contempt of court”, punishable by up to six months in prison and / or a fine, but can also be reduced to a warning , a conditional sentence or probation.
According to a sentencing memorandum dated August 10, 2015, Ford pleaded “no challenge” to one count of contempt of court. Prior to his conviction, acknowledging that a sentence would likely require him to give up his firearms and ammunition, Ford asked the court to provide a special allowance, allowing him to retain the use of his bow and arrows. and to pursue two out-of-state hunts. trips while on probation.
“(Ford) is an avid bow hunter and has two non-refundable bow hunting trips scheduled in the coming months,” Ford attorney Michael De Muniz wrote in the memorandum of determination. of the sentence of August 10, 2015. “(He) has already paid $ 23,650 for a trip to Alaska (to hunt brown bears) and $ 3,080 for a trip to New Mexico (to hunt elk).”
The judge sentenced Ford to two years of formal probation and ordered him to seek assessment, treatment and counseling for “domestic violence / abuser specific”.
The judge also set conditions of domestic violence on Ford’s probation, including:
- have no direct or indirect contact with his then wife;
- successfully complete an approved domestic violence intervention program as directed by a probation officer;
- notify his probation officer within 24 hours of “any new arrests, criminal or harassment citation and requests for restraining orders or harassment protection orders filed against (him);
- attend a Washington County Survivor Impact Panel as directed by their probation officer;
- consent to his probation officer “communicating with others about the accused’s history of domestic violence; ”
- Undergo a polygraph test as directed by your probation officer; and
- agreeing to “not threaten, intimidate, threaten or have offensive physical contact with anyone, including, but not limited to intimate partners”.
The judge also ordered Ford not to own any firearms or ammunition or to apply for a license or permit allowing possession of a firearm while on probation. However, he was allowed to keep his bow and arrows and attend his out-of-state hunting trips.
Contacted on Thursday, July 22 regarding the domestic violence charges and sentencing for violating a restraining order to prevent abuse, Ford claimed “there was absolutely no domestic violence” and said that the violation of the prohibition order was “a mistake”.
“I texted a friend, which was a third-party communication,” Ford said. “It wasn’t on his street or anything of that nature.”
When asked what lessons he learned from participating in the judge-ordered domestic violence intervention program, Ford said he only had to attend “a few classes.”
“They released me and felt I didn’t need it,” Ford told the Post-Record this week.
The court records dispute this account. On July 21, 2016, Ford’s attorney filed a motion to end Ford’s probation, claiming that Ford “has completed the domestic violence program (and) that the probation service has notified (Ford) that he would recommend that (his) probation be reduced to bench probation. ”
An order filed just over two weeks later, on August 8, 2016, shows that the district attorney denied Ford’s attorney’s petition, noting: “If you are on trial for domestic violence or a sexual crime, you are prohibited from contacting the named victim even during police custody. ”
Community members in the Camas-Washougal area have questioned Ford’s track record since he decided to run for mayor in the campaign earlier this year. As reported in other Post-Record articles, in addition to the domestic violence charges and the violation of the 2015 No-Contact Order, the Washougal pub owner has been questioned for a lawsuit he sued the town of Sweet Home, Oregon, and its police chief after being fired. for his work as a police officer on probation, as well as for several cases of sexual abuse by massage therapists who worked for Ford’s Massage Envy franchises.
When asked why he would expose himself to scrutiny by running for such a public post, Ford said he didn’t think his campaign would be affected by his past lawsuits, dismissals or accusations of violence. domesticated. He also said he had no plans to drop out of the Washougal mayoral race.
“Everyone has a past, things in their life that they’re not happy with,” said Ford. “I think I can do some good here.”
Editor’s Note: The Post-Record does not publish the names of victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.