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Kitsap resident still waiting for his pardon

Gov. Christine Gregiore has yet to act on a March recommendation by the Washington State Pardons Board to expunge a Suquamish man’s domestic violence conviction.

“This is frustrating,” said Doug Perry, who violated a 1998 no-contact order filed by his ex-wife. “A board appointed by the governor ruled decisively in my favor, but she hasn’t followed through on the recommendation. My life is on hold because of this.”

Perry, once a coach in the North Kitsap School System, lost that job after his conviction and has held a variety of jobs over the past few years. He claims to have received incorrect attorney advice about pardons, and did not appeal the conviction so as not to put his children through another hearing.

Perry began a personal campaign earlier this year, soliciting the help of 26th District Rep. Pat Lantz (D-Gig Harbor), who introduced a bill that would allow clearing the record in qualifying misdemeanor domestic violence convictions. The bill failed, even as Perry’s 4-1 approval sailed through the March hearing.

Perry, who thought the pardon would win approval shortly after the hearing, took two months to ask Lantz for an update.

Lantz then wrote Gregoire a letter that said, in part, “Mr. Perry has suffered greatly for his actions and is trying desperately to clear his name. I believe he is in a unique situation and deserves a chance to move on with his life. For this reason, I request that you support the recommendation by the Pardons Board and grant this pardon.”

Perry said he has received promises of support from Rep. Beverly Woods (R-Kingston) and State Sen. Phil Rockefeller (D-Bainbridge Island).

The governor’s office has no schedule to approve or deny the pardon but said the case is “under advisement.”

Spokeswoman Althea Cawley-Murphree said no time frame exists and she had no idea when action would occur.

“There are a lot of cases that come through here,” she said.

Perry, who works for the State Unemployment Office in Seattle, said the conviction has not only prevented his landing a coaching job but disqualifies him for many other state positions.

Further, he was unable to get a part-time retail job because of the conviction.

Perry, who said he worries about others in the same position, doesn’t expect the pardon to happen anytime soon. There is also the chance that it won’t happen at all.

“She may sign it, or she may decide to turn it down,” Perry said. “I’m discouraged and skeptical. If it happens I’ll be grateful. But I’m not holding my breath.”

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