Officer object of FBI inquiry; investigation underway in Forks Police Department

  • Fri Jun 2nd, 2017 12:45pm
  • News

By Paul Gottlieb, Peninsula Daily News

The FBI is investigating the activities of Forks Police Officer Michael Gentry, police department Administrator Rick Bart confirmed this week.

Bart said the FBI began its investigation about three months ago.

Gentry was on paid administrative leave while the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office investigated two rape allegations by a Forks woman against him when the FBI stepped in with a separate investigation.

“The rape was a county investigation. They stopped it when the FBI took everything over,” Bart said.

“That’s all I know.”

The woman alleged that Gentry raped her in December or January 2014 and winter of 2015, according to a request for a protection order against Gentry that the woman filed Feb. 7.

Clallam County Superior Court Commissioner Brent Basden denied her request Feb. 24, according to court records.

Bart said the FBI has kept him in the dark about what the agency is looking into.

“I’ve been trying to get the FBI to tell me something for months, and they will not do it,” Bart said Wednesday.

Bart said he suspended Gentry “months ago” over the rape allegations.

“That’s what he was on leave for,” Bart said.

Gentry could not be reached for comment this week.

“He won’t talk to you,” Bart said.

“I won’t let him talk to you, either.”

“He’s very, very emotional.”

Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict confirmed that an investigation is taking place.

“I can confirm that the FBI is investigating Mike Gentry and the Forks Police Department,” Benedict said.

“That was the brief I got from the FBI.”

Forks Mayor Bryon Monohon could not be reached for comment Thursday. City Attorney/Planner Rod Fleck did not return calls for comment.

The Forks woman alleged Gentry raped her while driving her home following a vehicle collision she was involved in late December 2013 or early January 2014, and in winter 2015 while the two were at a friend’s house.

“Mike Gentry works in the public as a figure of authority and I fear other women are at risk,” she said in the petition.

“He has used intimidation in past situations around me, that makes me afraid of him and I fear that he may use a weapon to harm me for coming forward regarding his conduct.”

The allegations did not surface until Feb. 7, when the woman filed for the protection order, Port Townsend lawyer Alexandrea Schodowski, who represented Gentry, said Thursday.

The woman’s claims “were frivolous and malicious and completely unsupported and unfounded,” Schodowski said.

“The judge looks at it and he has to find a preponderance of of evidence that these allegations are true, and enough so that she needs this protection.

“Because of that, the court did not find that.”

Gentry was back on duty after he had been placed on administrative leave following an officer-involved shooting at Lake Pleasant Mobile Home and RV Park in November. Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Nichols said this week he is reviewing a report on the shooting.

FBI spokeswoman Ayn Dietrich-Williams said the FBI does not comment on ongoing investigations.

U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Emily Langlie also would not comment.

“We neither confirm nor deny unless and until something is filed in court,” she said Thursday.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected]