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Orting School Board director resigns after being charged for involvement in Capitol riot

Rick Slaughter expressed "this decision was grounded in his love for his family," a statement on the district's website reads.

ORTING, Wash. — Editor's note: The above video was published Oct. 12 after Rick Slaughter was arrested and charged.

Rick Slaughter resigned from the Orting School Board of Directors Wednesday after previously being arrested and charged for his involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Slaughter and his stepson, Caden Paul Gottfried, were charged earlier this month. Slaughter was charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers using a deadly or dangerous weapon, interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder, and other felony and misdemeanor offenses. 

The resignation is effective immediately, according to a statement from School Board President Carrie Thibodeaux that was posted on the district's website.

"In my conversations with Rick, he expressed this decision was grounded in his love for his family," the statement reads. 

"As a Board, we remain committed to transparency and open communication lines between the District and the local community. While we appreciate Rick’s service to the District, we are also saddened by the hurt and frustration recent events have caused. This community, our schools, staff and students will continue to be at the heart of what we do, while building your trust and confidence," the statement continues.

A previous statement posted on the district's website states board members are elected by the community and are meant to "represent the voices of our families and community in our local area." Slaughter's "alleged individual actions do not reflect the [school board's] mission or core values," the statement reads, in part.

Jan. 6 Capitol riot involvement

According to an affidavit filed by an FBI agent based in Tacoma, Slaughter and Gottfried first came to the agency's attention on Jan. 7, 2021 when they disrupted a flight from Washington, D.C., to Seattle by refusing to wear masks and protesting the results of the presidential election.

In an interview with agents, Slaughter acknowledged they were at the riot but denied seeing any crimes committed, saying, "conservatives don’t protest, they have jobs,” the affidavit said.

In April, a source identified Slaughter in footage of the riot and provided links from his wife's Facebook page showing photos of him there.

Slaughter is alleged to have grabbed a police shield from another rioter and kept it from a police officer. He also used "a long pole" to attack officers at the front line of the tunnel area leading into the Capitol building and was seen handing chemical spray to another rioter in the crowd, according to court documents.

Slaughter and Gottfried were arrested in Tacoma on Oct. 12.

More than 880 individuals have been arrested in the 21 months since the Jan. 6 attack. About 400 have pleaded guilty. More than 270 have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

Sentences for the rioters have ranged from probation for low-level misdemeanor offenses to 10 years in prison for a man who used a metal flagpole to assault an officer.

Watch: Port Orchard man sentenced to 36 months of probation, fined for involvement in Capitol riot 

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