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Legislative candidate Doug Richards divulges past conviction

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on July 22, 2010 at 6:29 pm with 16 Comments »
July 22, 2010 6:29 pm

Like most candidates, Doug Richards has a section on his campaign website devoted to personal information. But if you go to that section — just click on “Meet Doug” — you’ll notice it gets a lot more personal than most campaign bios.

Scroll past today’s defense of the Republican 26th Legislative District House candidate’s military record against claims he’s inflating it, and you’ll find a letter from Doug’s wife, Whitney Richards, with some information about his past:

First, 21 years ago at the age of 20, he was charged for a misdemeanor 4th degree assault for domestic violence while we were married. After reviewing the facts of the case, the Judge dismissed the charge and had the cause removed.

It’s not clear in the letter, but Richards said in an interview he pleaded guilty to the charge.

The judge agreed to a deferred disposition that would wipe his conviction from most records as long as Richards didn’t commit another crime. Richards wouldn’t explain the circumstances behind the charge, saying it would “reopen old wounds.”

Richards and his wife divorced around the same time, but he said that didn’t have anything to do with the domestic violence case. They later remarried. Whitney Richards says in her letter:

I am proud to say that we have been happily married for over 20 years raising our four children. He has been nothing but a kind, loving husband whom I am extremely proud of. The record of the charge remains public and has been known to most who know us, including his employer, South Kitsap Fire Rescue, which requires background checks every four years for his state emergency medical technician license renewal.

She goes on to talk about a house Richards built and owns that is now facing foreclosure.

Richards is getting out in front of something that probably would have come out anyway. An e-mailer provided me today with details about Richards’s conviction, saying she had also given the information to his opponent, Democratic Rep. Larry Seaquist.

Richards said he put out the information to promote transparency in campaigning and because he expected attacks. “We’re all human, and we all have errors in our past,” he said. “I realized they’re going to find anything they can to discredit you.”

Leave a comment Comments → 16
  1. Very interesting. This domestic violence incident seems to coincide with his early discharge from the Navy. Are the two related?

  2. Do wife beaters ever reform themselves? Or is she suffering from the battered woman version of the Stockholm Syndrome? This guy seems to have a lot of issues, what with his military record, business failures and a conviction for domestic assault. Sounds like a jerk to me.

  3. What are the issues with his military record? The poorly designed webpage only links to the Wifeletter.

  4. george14017 says:

    Regarding his service in the U. S. Navy, there seems to be confusion over whether the U.S.S. Carl Vinson, and therefore Richards, served in the Persian Gulf. The official record of the ship shows it was in the North Arabian Sea, which ends South of the Persian Gulf, at the Gulf of Oman which is South of the Gulf of Oman, the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf.
    The implication of his claim is that he served in a Persian Gulf War, which is clearly wrong since he left the ship before the country engaged in that war and the ship was not in the Persian Gulf.
    Mr. Richards needs to clarify that claim and his early departure from a two year enlistment. He might also want to explain how taking 18 months to make E4 was a great accomplishment.

  5. He is making a mockery of those that served and risked their lives in wars. People like my father that fought in WWII and risked their lives fighting for our country. People that made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives fighting for our country.

    This behavior is deplorable. As a Christian will I pray for you Mr. Richards.

    The bible states:

    King James Bible. Matthew 7:18
    A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

    I do not see good fruit Mr. Richards.

  6. jandkgibbs says:

    Just because you read it in the trib doesn’t make it true. Don’t fall for the lies.

    People, do your homework before you jump to conclusions. The democratic attack machine working for Larry Seaquist is digging dirt and slinging mud because they want to divert your attention for the failings of his performance and that of his democratic counterparts in Olympia. They are afraid they will lose and these are acts of desperation.

    First, they file a Public Disclosure Commission complaint because Mr. Richards used a picture with him holding his personally owned fire helmet in his campaign literature. But, when Larry uses Navy’s ships to tout his Navy record Doug doesn’t complain to the PDC.

    Second, they file a press release trying to embarrass him about a rental home that was in foreclosure. They didn’t tell the whole story about how he is working with the bank to repay. So, Mr. Richards got in real estate trouble. So he has something in common with 10% of Americans.

    Third, they attach his military record. Mr. Richards has proof (DD-214 record) that proves his record and the fact that he even received a metal for serving in the Persian Gulf, but the lie was told and the Peninsula Gateway printed it, so it must be true.

    Now they stoop to a new low, drag his family into this election and call him a wife beater. This is a new low and readers need to know the truth. Even after Mr. Richards was transparent about his record, they sling the mud. When have you EVER seen a news article that provided a link to a candidates campaign literature. Shame of the trib, you are showing your bias

    Folks what you are seeing here is ruthless local politics by a group of Navy buddies of Mr. Seaquist but the truth is they are just hacks that are doing his dirty work for him. Plus it is shameful that South Sound newspapers are printing these lies. Don’t let these hacks divert your attention from what Seaquist has done to contribute to the budget failures in WA state. What you are seeing is an act of desperation by a liberal wantabe moderate democrat that sees his days numbered.

    When you see Mr. Seaquist you should tell him that he should be ashamed dragging Mr. Richards wife into this. Also ask him why he supports the Indians not paying tax, why he didn’t debate against the budget and the overturn of I-960, and how he feels about a state income tax and I-1098 that will approve this.

    Dirty politics like this should be rewarded by throwing the bums out not re-electing him so they can raise your taxes, continue their spending binge, and ingnor the will of the people.

    Read this and pass it on quickly before it is taken off the trib website.

  7. “Just because you read it in the trib doesn’t make it true. Don’t fall for the lies. ”

    OK, I guess I am free to ignore “jandkgibbs” comments then. Not falling for it

  8. jandkgibbs says:

    Reply to george14017

    George, are you the sameCapt. George that posted the letter this week in the Peninsula Gateway? The Seaquist attack team has too much time on their hands. Don’t you have some weeds that need to be pulled?

    Why don’t you and your hack friends check his record close. I did and it’s in his DD-214. He served in the US Navy from December 1987 to September 1989. He enlisted under the Navy Sea College program. Richards was assigned his duty station, the USS Carl Vinson in April of 1988.

    The USS Carl Vinson promptly deployed for a NorPac/WestPac in June of 1988. It was assigned support of Operation Earnest Will in the Persian Gulf defending Kuwaiti shipping from Iranian attack. He along with 4,500 of his fellow sailors, earned an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for their service in the Gulf Region. In July 1989, he received a promotion to 3rd class petty officer.

    I am not familiar with the Navy Sea College program but maybe there were limitations on promotions in this program.

    If you are the same Navy Capt. George that wrote this letter, http://www.gateline.com/2010/07/22/7446/letters-to-the-editor.html
    you should be ashamed for despairing and demeaning the record of an enlisted man just because you were a officer in the Navy Reserves. Is this how Navy officers treat people? I was in the Navy and knew Captains that thought enlisted men were just their slaves and treated them as such.

    Again People, just because you read comments from political hacks, posted on the trib website, that doesn’t make it true. How about fewer lies and more facts.

  9. Mr. jandkgibbs I thought I would go and do some homework based on your above posting. Here is where I take issue

    Mr. Richards makes claims that he was in the Persian gulf. I went to the official site of the Carl Vinson and they state they were in the Arabian sea.

    http://www.vinson.navy.mil/ (under the history link) That is a far cry from serving in the Persian Gulf. Or is there a grand conspiracy that the US Navy is making this up on their site to make Mr. Richards look bad?

    You claim that Mr. Seaquist and the Democrats drug Mr. Richards wife into this. When in fact if you look at his campaign site, she wrote her letter on 7/14/2010. The above news story was published on 7/22/2010. That is a full week after the Richards campaign told the public that he beats his wife. It appears to me, the Tribune was notified after the Richards campaign disclosed that information.

    I read the article in the Kitsap Sun and there is a link in the comments where the public notice was a matter of public record and published in multiple newspapers in the region. Again, I don’t understand how the Democrats can be responsible for public notice hearings that were published by his bank. Again, am I missing something here?

    Am I missing something or am I to look out for the black helicopters and crop circles next?

  10. “Why don’t you and your hack friends check his record close. I did and it’s in his DD-214. ”

    ORLY? Since I happen to know that a DD-214 is not available under the freedom of information act nor is it available unless you are next of kin for anyone to see. Where is this mysterious DD-214?

    So, if you in fact have a copy of his DD-214 why don’t you post a copy of it or why doesn’t Mr. Richards sign to allow one of the reporters at the newspaper go and view a copy of his DD214 records to clarify this? And….. be real careful to post the real one. It is a Federal Crime to alter that information…

    I am waiting as a voter in the 26th LD. If you can prove Mr. Richards is the man you claim he is, I will eat crow.

  11. Checking his DD-214 it won’t say that he served in the Persian Gulf. It will list his last command in block 8a and block 13 will list campaign ribbons so it should say that he is entitled to wear the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal but it won’t say he served in the Persian Gulf. If you check the Navy awards web site for the USS Carl Vinson the crew was awarded the AFEM for 64 days supporting Operation Ernest Will while operating in the Northern Arabian Sea. For security reasons the ship would not have operated closer than 200 NM from the Straits of Hormuz, entry point to the Persian Gulf. By claiming service in the Persian Gulf he is embellishing his service so that it sounds like he was in imminent danger.

    Along with this the program cited for his enlistment required a minimum of 24 months active duty and 48 months of active reserve which he didn’t serve. He claims to be proud of his service but why didn’t he complete his enlistment contract? The Navy is not in the habit of releasing promising sailors from their service commitments. And if the sailor wanted to serve he wasn’t going to be turned away.

  12. jandkgibbs says:

    Reply to AnneW

    Grab your fork, salt and pepper and get ready to enjoy your crow. See this Sat. AM story from the Kitsap Sun

    Mr. Richards has been 100% honest in his responses to every attack by the Seaquist “hack attack squad”. He will do the same here. But, you must be ashamed that your team has crossed the line and made an issue that involves his family. That’s what I call “below the belt dirty fighting” that are tactics of cowards.

    Come to one of Doug’s events and meet him and you will change your mind. I attend a lot of the Seaquist events and always respectful of Larry and his service to the state and the nation. Don’t all of our great candidates
    deserve the same respect?

    Mr. Richards is a veteran and serves the people just like Mr. Seaquist. As a person that measures the sentiment of the voters I have to say these attacks are back firing on the Seaquist campaign. The PDC complaint was overturned, the foreclosure story only showed he will be empathetic for all the people in the same situation, the naval service question will be answered and the latest attempt to embarrass him with information that he himself posted so to be transparent, will fall flat when voters take the time to get to know Doug like I have.

    He shows integrity for not lowering himself to the level of “dirty politics”.

    Even if he is aware of Mr. Seaquist’s tax problems that resulted in a lien placed on his home until he paid the $23,533 in back taxes the the IRS. He knows the people want the problems of the state resolved and that’s what he wants to debate and discuss. Mr. Seaquist only wants to distract because he is part of the problem. The primary will be over soon and the voters will make their choice. Will they want a mudslinging, overspending, democrat that only wants more of the same or will they chose someone that wants to work hard to keep our state from becoming another Greece.

  13. As a housewife, I have no words for the attacks on me as part of the voting public trying to find answers. I asked you to clarify and tell me where I might be wrong in my assumptions. I gave you a chance to change my mind as a voter and in return you personally attacked me.

    “Mr. Richards has been 100% honest in his responses to every attack by the Seaquist “hack attack squad””

    Is this how your campaign is going to respond to every voter in the 26th voting district looking for answers? I only responded to what was in the papers and what I knew to be true.

    I responded with questions and you did not answer them. You did a good job of a Straw Man Argument. Does your campaign plan on attacking every single voter out there that calls these things into question? Are you going to link every voter to a conspiracy theory?

    I followed your link to this: http://pugetsoundblogs.com/kitsap-caucus/

    It shows that Mr. Richards served in the Arabian Sea and not the Persian Gulf as per his tag that he left on my door.

    “Navy Veteran, proudly served in the Persian Gulf aboard the USS Carl Vinson”

    Can you explain how that is the Persian Gulf? I am well versed in Geography, and any voter can do a Google search for a map of the region.

    I am honestly at a loss for words as a voter. I have been ruthlessly attacked as someone looking for answers which based upon the preliminary information liked his opponent. You had a chance to change my mind as a voter and went in for the kill.

    I have valid concerns and made them known. Wow, just wow!

    I will be sure to share this dialog with my voting friends. NEVER in my life have I ever been so insulted by a candidate.

    Anne Whalen

  14. jandkgibbs says:


    I am just a househubby but lets try again.

    I thought we had resolved the body of water issue. The USS Carl Vinson was deployed for a NorPac/WestPac in June of 1988. It
    was assigned support of Operation Earnest Will in the Persian Gulf defending Kuwaiti shipping from Iranian attack. He along with 4,500 of his fellow sailors,earned an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for their service in the Gulf Region. I think you are splitting hairs over a body of water. You can see his dd-214 on line.

    The PDC was provided proff that the helment used in the campaign photo was his personal gear and the case dropped.

    I am not a candidate. Just a concerned citizen that want all of our candidates debate not mudsling. I think we can agree on that.

  15. SalalWood says:

    Mr. Gibbs,

    A person’s character may be more important than his position on issues, when it comes to being the representative of many tens of thousands of citizens to our state legislature. I need to be able to trust people before I can place confidence in them to do the right thing.

    Mr Richards brags about his business experience in his flier and it comes out that his business is dissolved and there is a substantial debt. Building spec houses is inherently risky but building a spec McMansion at a time when the housing bubble was hinting at bursting is high-stakes gambling. I live near it and know the house is nothing special—fairly luxurious but no view or special design touches. A notable number of spec McMansions were built on that section of Banner Rd.–more than the market ever demanded out here.

    Then we find out he was guilty of beating his wife. As a woman, I know abusers rarely are reformed. Statistically valid studies confirm that. Unfortunately, every woman has been or knows a woman who has been physically abused by a partner, only to discover after the onset that this has occurred in every close relationship the guy has had. Here, Mr Richards is asking us to believe him that he hasn’t hit a woman since. I hope that is true but abusers usually say that same thing even if it isn’t true. The reasons to be wary of Mr. Richards are piling up.

    Now we find out that either he padded his military resume when including it in his flier, his writing skills need improvement, he has a really bad political advisor, or he is lying. None of these options inspire positive feelings about Richards. Today, his DD214, an incomplete version, is published online by the Kitsap Sun. One of the discrepancies with his military record is that he was discharged before his commitment was up. The form Richards submitted does not show his status at discharge. Apparently, he wants us to believe him again that all was copacetic. His flier again indicates pride in his service. If he is proud and his service record is good, why isn’t he showing it to us?

    So there are a few valid concerns about Richards’ character. He needs to come clean before we can even decide if he is worthy of our trust. There are no questions about the quality of his work as a firefighter but I assume he is doing a good job. He has been promoted and, as it seems there is always some co-worker who will squeal on a person and that hasn’t happened, I don’t have any reason to doubt this. But other questions must be answered.

    Salal (yes, hippie parents)

  16. I truly think Richards need to resolve the matter as to if he was honorably discharged, generally discharged for special reasons or dishonerably discharged. This would complete his resume. If this requires releasing the DD214 form in its entirety he should do that. Doug chose to make his service record part of the campaign. If you do this then the public has the right to know the whole story.

    Doug raised the issue not the Democratic party. People might want to vote for Doug they have a right to know. It is only fair to the voter.

    I found interesting the DV issue and the TNT reporter being able to ferret out more information from the candidate. Some of us can give Doug a pass on this one. The wife has gone out of her way to support him and this was 20 years ago. Their campaign chose to raise this issue not the Democratic attack dogs or the insinuations that Seaquest ginned this stuff up. Where does jandkgibbs come up with that baloney? This is desperation talking because the candidate he supports is in some troubles with his resume.

    Then there is the public foreclosure of the real estate. Seriously guys Democrats did not create this story nor did the newspapers. It was a public disclosure notice not the Democrats that brought this up. How can you blame this newspaper for reporting the news? That is hilarious. Doug created these problems. We all have a history and the voter has to match this guy’s resume with all its baubles up against his opponent’s. In the end they may choose to vote for him, but they deserve to know who they are voting for.

    Thank you TNT for reporting this information.

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