School board member faces DUI, hit and run charges; issues apology

[**We typically do not report on misdemeanor charges until the legal process has played out, but as Mr. Fancher willingly offered a statement before his court date/legal proceedings have been completed, we opted to publish this article now.**]

On Saturday March 10, 2018,  Snoqualmie Valley School Board member Gary Fancher issued a statement regarding misdemeanor DUI and hit and run charges filed against him. He was arrested in the early morning hours of January 19th after officers responded to reports of a possible accident from OnStar.

Fancher hit a tree and electric box near the intersection of 140th Ave SE and North Bend Way, significantly damaging his vehicle. Officers pulled him over about a mile away. After failing a field sobriety test he was arrested. A blood alcohol test administered, registered .087.

According to Fancher, these are his first offenses. He goes to court on March 28th and for now plans to continue serving in his school board member role. He was elected in November 2017.

See Fancher’s statement below:

“Recently, I drove my car after consuming alcohol. This decision culminated in an arrest for driving under the influence and hit and run on property. I am deeply embarrassed, disappointed, and upset with myself. Although this is the lowest moment in my life next to my mother’s passing. I am determined to use this experience for personal growth and self-improvement. I know after all is said and done, I will be a better person, a better father, a better husband, and a better neighbor.

My new journey begins with real contrition.  I sincerely apologize for my choice and conduct. I apologize to my family, the district, and residents of this Valley. There is no way that I will put myself in this situation ever again. This is my personal commitment to myself, which I extend to my wife, my children, my family and friends, and to each of you in our community.

I have taken several retrospective steps to critically look inside of me, which included a professionally administered alcohol assessment by a state certified alcohol/chemical dependency agency. As recommended by highly qualified health care professionals, I completed the alcohol information school and attended a session of the DUI Victim’s Panel. These programs were eye-opening and impactful.

Additionally, I am embarking on a course of action to help reduce incidents like mine. Contrition is not complete until I openly use myself as an example in our community to pave the way for better choices.  I will be talking, presenting, and organizing events to better inform our community about the perils of driving after drinking any amount of alcohol.

Regrettably, I join the over 40,000 DUI arrests in our state each year, but vow to use this moment to bring light to this never-ending trend and convey the slogan Don’t Drink and Drive.”

Comments

  1. Chris Anderson says:

    Gee, I hate to bring this up, but according to FBI crime statistics: ‘An average drunk driver has driven drunk over 80 times before first arrest.’

  2. ann Heideman says:

    Indeed, his car turned him in – his OnStar device called, he was trying to drive home when the police pulled him over.
    Why has the board covered this up?
    Why hasn’t he resigned?

  3. Please resign from this position. Not a great example for our children to follow.

  4. Peter Kartak says:

    Please resign.

  5. I appreciate his taking full responsibility. I also appreciate what seems to be genuine contrition and his desire to become an example to others. Time will tell which I believe we should give him.

    There are many leaders who have had DUI infractions. I know of none who have resigned from it. That includes both the private and public sectors. If it happens again we should reVisit.

    As far as removal from office, the voters chose him and the voters would need to remove him either at the next election or by recall.

  6. dave templeton says:

    This guy wrecked his car to the point the Onstar called for help. Who knows whether he would have ever notified anyone anything if he had managed to get the car home. After that, there is no record he ever told anyone on the board what he had done, that only happened after the truth started coming out. The current board refuses to act apparently because it thinks it cannot. But a board always has the right to discipline its own members, up to and including impeachment. After all, the remaining members are all elected too. The idea that one can start a four YEAR term by drinking so much as to blow over 0.8 after the second meeting one ever went to and suffer no consequences is just nuts. We are coming up on prom and graduation season and trying all kinds of things to get students to be aware that it’s a bad thing to drink and drive at the same time that a newly seated school board member is unpunished by the board for a clear violation of the rules of the board and the terms of the oath of office he took only two weeks prior to the incident. He can apologize all he wants, but what he should do is resign.

  7. My 14 yo daughter asked me about it, first I heard and I was lost for words.
    Disgraceful.
    Gary needs to resign NOW.

  8. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

  9. It is time for Mr Fancher to step down. How can we recruit a new superintendent when that person will have to work with a board who includes criminals who set a poor example for our kids. What does this say about our community? I’m embarrassed by his actions as all members of the board should be.

  10. What happened at the March 28th court date?

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