Former WSP lieutenant faced child rape charge in 2001

Kenneth S. Garrison, who is facing new allegations, was fired, then reinstated




Kenneth Garrison

A former Washington State Patrol lieutenant arrested this week on multiple sex charges faced a child rape charge in 2001, was fired, and then reinstated to his job.

Kenneth S. Garrison, 50, of Vancouver is expected to appear in Clark County Superior Court today. He was arrested Wednesday at a Portland motel on suspicion of multiple counts of incest and rape.

At his first appearance, Judge David Gregerson is expected to set bail and make sure Garrison understands his rights. Garrison faces charges of two counts of second-degree rape and six counts of first-degree incest.

Clark County sheriff’s deputies took Garrison into custody without incident Wednesday at the Rodeway Inn and Suites, 2323 N.E. 181st Ave. Gresham, Ore., police and the East Metro SWAT team assisted in the arrest. He spent the night in the Multnomah County Jail and then was extradited Thursday to the Clark County Jail.

The state patrol hired Garrison in 1989, according to spokesman Bob Calkins. Garrison was most recently the lieutenant responsible for supervising troopers who patrol the Southwest Washington district, which is headquartered in Vancouver, Calkins said.

The pending case against Garrison is not the first time he has been accused of sex abuse.

Garrison was charged with first-degree rape of a child in Cowlitz County in 2001. The charge was later dismissed. The allegation, however, led to an internal investigation that ended in Garrison’s termination, Calkins said. He was fired in 2003, and the state decertified him as a peace officer, Calkins said.

In an internal investigation, the burden of proof is lesser than in a criminal court case. Garrison’s supervisor at the time reviewed the 2001 allegation and determined that there was enough proof that the sex abuse happened, Calkins said.

However, when Garrison appealed his termination, an arbitrator ruled in his favor, awarded him some back pay, and ordered him back to work. The exact amount of back pay Garrison received was not available. He returned to duty with the state patrol in 2008 and remained with the agency until his resignation in December, Calkins said.

“Since being ordered to restore him to duty, in 2008, we have not seen any allegations of this type and would have certainly taken action if we had been presented with information of that sort,” Calkins said.

Garrison also served as a lieutenant colonel in the Washington Army National Guard but retired on Monday, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities are still investigating the case. Anyone with information is asked to call the Clark County Sheriff’s Office tip line at 360-397-6008, extension 2120.