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Dec. 5, 2021

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Former Washougal mayoral candidate’s death ruled a suicide

Derik Ford, 45, was discovered dead in an Ohio hotel on Oct. 15

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CAMAS — The death of Derik Ford, the former Washougal mayoral candidate who died last week at the age of 45, has been ruled a suicide.

A representative from the Butler County, Ohio, coroner’s office confirmed the manner of death on Thursday.

Rebecca Irvin, a sergeant for the Fairfield Police Department in Ohio, said Ford’s body was discovered Oct. 15, at the Extended Stay America hotel in Fairfield.

Ford, who owned 2 Rivers Bar and Grill in Washougal, as well as several Massage Envy locations in Oregon, had received criticism from local residents about his controversial past, which included being fired from an Oregon police department; backing Massage Envy employees accused of sexually assaulting clients; lying about being dismissed from a police academy; and violating a restraining order following domestic violence allegations.

Despite the controversies, Ford finished in second place in August’s primary election, beating longtime Washougal City Councilman Paul Greenlee for a chance to compete against the top vote-getter, Rochelle Ramos, in the Nov. 2 general election.

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Southwest Washington Crisis Line: 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 1-800-626-8137.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Text or call. 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Last month, after being arrested and charged with domestic violence on Sept. 15, Ford said he was suspending his political campaign.

Ford was scheduled to appear in court Nov. 2 and had already pleaded not guilty to a fourth-degree assault in mid-September and, more recently, pleaded not guilty to additional allegations that he was violating a no-contact order.

Ford’s name will still appear on Washougal voters’ ballots for the Nov. 2 general and special elections.

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