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Loran Ayles

Loran Ayles, District 1 Hood River County School Board candidate, is downplaying his conviction six years ago on the misdemeanor crime of Identity Theft.

Ayles, on the May 21 Special Districts ballot, was convicted in June 2013 in Hood River County Circuit Court.

Ayles said the case involved “no ill intent,” and he fulfilled the court’s requirement that he repay his former girlfriend, Wendy Marie Ellson-Sewell, a total of $203 — the amount of restitution cited in court documents. He said he and Ellson-Sewell had together been paying down a $1,200 debt and he was using the card with her permission when she apparently changed her mind and accused him of theft.

“She had given me permission to use the card and then got miffed and turned it in as stolen,” stated Ayles.

“I don’t believe the average voter should view this as having any bearing on the school board race,” he said.

Appearing before Judge Paul Crowley in 2013, Ayles plead guilty to one count of Identity Theft, though he was arrested in May 2013 on two counts of that charge. Ayles spent five days in jail, according to court records, and paid a $100 fine and $92 in court costs, and was on bench probation for 12 months.

Court records also show Ayles was convicted of two other misdemeansors: In 2004 of Criminal Trespass and in 2008 of Unlawful Entry Into A Restricted Forestland.

The Unlawful Entry case carried fines and court fees totalling $194, which the court records state remain unpaid. Ayles said Monday he remembers having paid the balance.

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