Tenino mayor under fire over 'intimate moment' in city car

Tenino mayor under fire over 'intimate moment' in city car »Play Video
Tenino Mayor Eric Strawn
TENINO, Wash. -- Tenino Mayor Eric Strawn is under fire for allegedly performing lewd acts with a woman in a city owned car.

Strawn denies those allegations, saying he and his female friend only shared a passionate kiss, but witnesses who came forward Thursday say they saw a lot more than that.

The town of Tenino is abuzz, and some residents are even calling for Strawn to resign. Others simply say the whole situation is an embarrassment.

Staff and patrons at a Lacey fitness club say they couldn't believe what they saw on Monday inside what appeared to be a Tenino police car.

"It was oral sex. She was very passionate. It was appalling," said witness Kasey Louis.

Another witness said he, too, is sure of what he saw.

"They're just going at it right in the front seat," said Nathaniel Howdeshell. "Right there, right in the middle of this whole complex. They were just like on top of each other. The seat is reclining back. Ugh, it was gross, really."

Whatever was happening inside the car, it was enough for Louis to call 911. Police showed up moments later and filed a report about the incident.

For his part, Strawn says he did nothing wrong.

"I'm confident I did nothing wrong, so I am confident to stand here and tell you this," he said on Wednesday. "I am confident to stand here and tell anybody listening that I did nothing wrong."

Strawn said he was using a decommissioned police car for city-related business, but he stopped for a brief moment with a lady friend.

"I merely had an affectionate moment - a kiss - with another woman, which I am allowed to have," he said.

A kiss is one thing, but Louis said that's not what was going on.

"We had no intention of calling the cops when someone's kissing. If you're kissing, you're kissing, but when you go beyond that," Louis said.

Strawn insists whoever made the police report exaggerated.

"Being it was a very busy parking lot, being in a city vehicle. That would not happen. It's very embarrassing," he said.

Many Tenino residents agree with Strawn on that point.

"I think it's extremely embarrassing. It's embarrassing to live in Tenino with all of this stuff going on," said resident Becky Nygard.

Lacey police took a lengthy report on the incident and forwarded it to their city attorney, but no charges are going to be filed for lewd conduct or indecent exposure because witnesses say they didn't actually see any exposure.

Strawn said he will not resign and he doesn't believe the city council has any power to reprimand him.