Former chief pleads guilty

Published on Thu, Dec 4, 2003 by Rebecca Schwarz Kopf

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Former chief pleads guilty

By Rebecca Schwarz Kopf

Mike Campbell, former North Whatcom Fire and Rescue Services (NWFRS) division chief, has pleaded guilty to child molestation and is currently in Whatcom County Jail.

According to County sheriff Bill Elfo, Campbell was booked into jail on Wednesday, November 26, after surrendering himself to authorities following his plea. Campbell, 39, plead guilty to child molestation in the second degree, a Class B felony stating: A person is guilty of child molestation in the second degree when the person has sexual contact with a person who is at least 12 years old but less than 14 years old and not married to the perpetrator, who is at least 36 months older than the victim.

Campbell was arrested on October 8, 2002, after a girl told a school counselor she was raped by Campbell in Point Roberts while staying at his home during an extended visit. He was later released on his own recognizance. The incident is alleged to have occurred in 1999 � a time when Campbell was a NWFRS division chief for Point Roberts.

Campbell was supposed to have gone to trial several times over the last year, but the date was moved back each time. Since pleading guilty, Campbell�s sentencing and conviction date will occur sometime in January, Elfo said.

He could spend as much as 10 years in prison, but will likely spend less, officials said. Campbell could also be fined a fixed amount, no more than $20,000. After conviction, Campbell will be among those listed as a registered sex offender.

Campbell has been on administrative leave without pay or benefits for quite some time. Since he has pleaded guilty, he will likely be terminated.

�The next board of directors meeting is on Monday, December 15 and the directors have informed me to put him on the agenda,� fire administrator Dave Crossen said. �It is my assumption he�ll probably be terminated.�

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