Thurston County prosecutors have charged Tenino Mayor Wayne Fournier with fourth-degree assault following an altercation at the Tenino Eagles Club last month, according to a prosecutor’s office spokesperson.
The misdemeanor charge will be heard in Thurston County District Court. His arraignment is set for 8:30 a.m. Sept. 11, the spokesperson said.
According to a Thurston County Sheriff’s Office incident report, the altercation occurred in the early morning hours of July 28. Fournier was part of a group of men standing next to the Eagles Club bar, in an area not intended for customers, according to the report.
A female employee asked the group to move, and later a security guard asked them to leave, according to witness accounts. When the employee told the group she would call 911 if they didn’t leave and picked up a phone, Fournier allegedly hit the phone out of her hand “forcefully, striking her hand,” according to the report.
Fournier’s lawyer, Justin Kover, told The Olympian via text message Tuesday: “The Mayor denies the allegation. The evidence will show he didn’t hit anyone that night.”
Fournier is currently running unopposed for re-election in November.
While the incident happened in Tenino, that city’s police chief asked the Sheriff’s Office to investigate the case, according to the report, because the suspect was the mayor.