In October 2009, Warrenton NAPA Auto Parts store owner Rick Newton was indicted for six counts of first-degree theft after allegedly stealing retirement funds from employees.
He eventually paid the nearly $10,000 worth of funds back to the three employees, and the case was dropped on May 7, 2010.
Now, Newton, 61, is a candidate for the Warrenton City Commission Seat 4, vacated by Mark Baldwin in his run for mayor. Newton claims he struggled mentally five years ago to process his finances and the retirement funds due to severe mercury poisoning from multiple silver fillings in his teeth.Doctors rated him off the charts on a mercury poisoning scale, and said if he didn’t fix his fillings, he would be in a wheelchair within two years, he said. “At that time I was losing my mind on mercury poisoning. I couldn't figure out what to do. I got behind on paying my employees retirement fund," Newton said.
Newton is campaigning against Richard Frisbee, Pam Ackley and David Goldthorpe for Seat 4. Goldthorpe, who works as a prosecutor in the Clatsop County District Attorney's Office, said he was informed about Newton's past felony charge and feels the public should know before casting a ballot. “I just got really unsettled about voters not knowing about the (charges),” Goldthorpe said. Newton was arrested and booked in Warrenton on the charges.
The District Attorney's Office opposed dismissing Newton's case at the time, but the judge allowed it.
Newton - the son of former Warrenton Mayor Les Newton - has never run for political office before this year.
He believes he is mentally and physically ready to serve his hometown on the City Commission.
"Now my brain fires like it used to," Newton said. “I’m all caught up and my health is immensely better.”