Juvenile court worker returns after inquiry

Man was put on leave after assault at boat launch; duties may shift

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

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A Clark County Juvenile Court employee who assaulted a man during a September dispute at a Washougal boat launch has been allowed to return to his duties at the courthouse following an internal investigation into his conduct.

Kevin Memsic, 43, of Vancouver was placed on administrative leave Sept. 17, six days after he was arrested for the fourth-degree misdemeanor assault, said Joe Hertig, Clark County human relations manager. Memsic was a program coordinator with the Juvenile Court.

Memsic was sentenced Oct. 17 in Camas-Washougal Municipal Court to 10 days of community service, $2,771 in fines and restitution in an amount to be determined. He was also required to have anger management treatment.

County officials allowed him to return to his job duties as program coordinator on Dec. 5, Hertig said.

"Kevin is a 17-plus-year employee with exemplary work performance," Hertig said. "We think it was a good investment of our time to make sure the return was proper and would work out for both parties moving forward."

Asked whether Memsic's duties would remain the same, Hertig said he would have the "same general role."

However, an internal email purported to be by Juvenile Court administrator Pat Escamilla, which was released anonymously to The Columbian, states that Memsic's duties have been modified.

The email says that Memsic will no longer supervise the Victim Impact Program or Restorative Service Program. He will be assigned to reviewing police reports for possible diversion, overseeing a program that allows community members to show offenders the impact of crime and assisting in supervising and staffing detention alternatives. He will be required to work evenings and weekends.

Hertig said he was unable Tuesday to comment on the email because he had to confirm the details with Escamilla, who was scheduled to be out of the office until Thursday.

Hertig said that personnel decisions about employees convicted of crimes are made on a case-by-case basis.

Memsic was arrested Sept. 11 after he repeatedly punched Douglas Wilson, 68, of Washougal at the Port of Camas-Washougal, according to court documents.

Police responded to the port, 24 S. A St., at 7:49 p.m. In a probable cause affidavit, Wilson said that a white truck belonging to Memsic was blocking other boats from coming up the ramp and that his teenage daughter was sitting in the driver's seat, talking on her cellphone.

Wilson told the teenager, whose name was redacted from court documents, that she needed to get off her cellphone and move the truck so other people could use the boat launch. After she moved the truck, Wilson got his trailer and pulled his boat out of the water.

Memsic then approached Wilson's truck and started yelling at him about what he said to his daughter, according to the affidavit. He alleged that Wilson was rude to her while she was at the boat launch and believed that Wilson treated her that way because of her race.

Memsic said Wilson's truck was blocking traffic and started beating on the truck. He opened the driver's side door and punched Wilson multiple times in the face, according to the affidavit. Wilson pushed Memsic away with his feet until Memsic backed off. Wilson pulled his truck forward. When Memsic returned to the truck, he told Wilson he had not moved far enough and punched him again.

Washougal police Sgt. Brad Chicks said Wilson had injuries to his nose and face. Multiple witnesses at the boat launch confirmed the assault.

According to the affidavit, Memsic smelled strongly of alcohol and acknowledged that he had been drinking.