Columbia Gorge Community College position 1 candidate Frank E. Polehn pled guilty in June 2010 to attempt to commit a Class A felony, the sexual abuse of a minor, but told Columbia Gorge News Friday, April 23, his conviction should not stop voters from supporting his candidacy.

“In reality no, I went to jail for something I didn’t do,” he said. Pleading guilty was “the easiest way out of the situation,” he explained. As a board member he would not be working directly with kids, and if he did others would be present.

After serving time in prison, Polehn was arrested for a probation violation in 2015. He said that arrest was because a councilor had “accused him of lying,” a violation of his parole, and he served an extra two months, he said.

Polehn then provided the Columbia Gorge News with a prepared statement, titled “How to become a felon by not doing what one is accused of.” In that document, he describes estrangement with his wife and the allegations made against him. Faced with a 22-month sentence, he wrote, “I decided the best choice was to go to prison knowing I did not belong there in exchange for the knowledge it would be shortened to about 18 months for good behavior.”

He said he pled guilty, but it did not go as he was told it would.

“I think there was unethical abusive attacks by higher powers involved. But I lack solid evidence as to where it came from. In short, I pled guilty rather than fight the accusations. I am still confident I made the best choice to a no win situation.”

Additional information on his candidacy can be found on the Columbia Gorge News elections page.