MOSES LAKE — Despite having an open criminal case in the Grant County court system, former Fourth Congressional District candidate Gavin Seim has apparently left the country for Mexico.
In a series of videos Seim posted on Friday he states he has left the country for an unknown location in Mexico. One of the videos appears to show Seim entering Mexico through an undisclosed border crossing with his family.
Seim is adamant that he is not fleeing the country in an attempt to avoid his current court case, as he is currently facing charges in Grant County District Court for harassment and obstruction of a law enforcement officer in connection with an Aug. 17 arrest in Ephrata.
“It’s funny because there is people out there saying ‘oh Gavin’s a coward,’ ‘Gavin ran, you know, from justice.’ And I’m like, no I didn’t run from law or justice. (Deputy) Prosecutor Marc (Fedorak) has nothing to do with either one and neither does the judge and neither does Grant County, neither does my sheriff,” Seim states in a video. “I’m not hiding. I’m changing the narrative.”
Seim allegedly contacted Ephrata Police Department Officer Patrick Canady as the officer was on a traffic stop in the Walmart parking lot. Canady says he felt threatened by Seim’s presence and demeanor during the altercation. As a result, Seim was taken into custody and his cellphone was seized as evidence, as he was recording his encounter with Canady. Seim has long contended his phone was seized unjustly and without probable cause, despite a judge ruling the device was seized properly and with good cause.
After several unsuccessful attempts to open Seim’s phone, as the device is password protected, the prosecution filed a motion to force the defendant to open the device.
“The court says, ‘Gavin you have to come and argue in your defense of whether or not you should be forced,’” Seim states in a video. “And you know what my answer is to that? ‘No I don’t.’”
Seim has stated on numerous occasions that Canady’s actions were “malicious” and the officer arrested him in an act of vengeance, as Seim has posted several videos of testy encounters with Canady in the past.
“The charges I’m dealing with in Grant County are fake. They were just being used as a leverage tool. It wasn’t about those charges, it was a matter of leverage to try and get me locked away or worse.”
In a Nov. 9 video Seim admits to purposefully missing an early November court date, stating he feared for his safety while going into a courtroom “that dares to even consider a motion to openly trample the rights of a defendant.”
Fedorak could not be reached for comment on the legal ramifications of Seim’s decision to leave the country, as Seim is currently free after posting $2,000 bail. Seim’s case is scheduled to go to trial on Dec. 8, but he says he has filed motions for continuances and to have the case dismissed.
In an email correspondence between the Columbia Basin Herald and Seim on Monday afternoon, Seim agreed to answer questions about his decision to leave for Mexico and if he has plans to return to the area, or country, anytime soon. Seim did not respond to the questions before the Herald’s press time on Monday. In one of Seim’s videos he calls the trip to Mexico a “winter road trip away from the cold of the north and Washington.” In another video he states the decision to come to Mexico was a difficult one “even if it’s not permanent.”
Richard Byrd can be reached via email at email@example.com.