Washougal mayoral candidate Derik Ford pleaded not guilty Friday in Clark County District Court to a charge of fourth-degree assault domestic violence, which is a gross misdemeanor.
Ford, 45, was released on his own recognizance with an order not to contact the alleged victim in the case.
The Washougal Police Department responded Wednesday to Ford’s house for a report of an assault. Police said Ford had already left the house when they arrived. When police recognized Ford as a mayoral candidate, officers requested Camas police take over the investigation to avoid a conflict of interest, Camas police stated.
Police said they arrested Ford based on the victim’s statements and injuries, as well as on inconsistencies in Ford’s account of what happened.
Ford is running against Rochelle Ramos for Washougal mayor in the November general election.
The Camas-Washougal Post-Record previously reported that Ford was accused of domestic violence in a 2015 restraining order filed by a family member. He was later sentenced to serve two years of formal probation and attend a domestic violence intervention program after violating a restraining order, the newspaper reported.
In May 2015, a family member filed for a restraining order to prevent abuse, alleging Ford had attempted to physically harm them and placed them “in fear of imminent bodily injury” during an argument.