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Monte native resigns police post in Pe Ell in disgrace

Pete Caster | The Chronicle  Pe Ell Marshal Anthony K. Corder makes his initial appearance in Lewis County District Court last week.
Pete Caster | The Chronicle Pe Ell Marshal Anthony K. Corder makes his initial appearance in Lewis County District Court last week.
Pe Ell Marshall Anthony K. Corder makes his initial appearance in Lewis County District Court on Friday afternoon at the Lewis County Law and Justice Center in Chehalis. Corder, 27, was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol early Friday morning in his patrol car.
Pe Ell Marshall Anthony K. Corder makes his initial appearance in Lewis County District Court on Friday afternoon at the Lewis County Law and Justice Center in Chehalis. Corder, 27, was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol early Friday morning in his patrol car.

A Montesano native, fresh out of the Marine Corps, had hoped to start his post-military career as the town marshal for tiny Pe Ell in Lewis County. But, before he could even start his training, he was arrested this month for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol while operating the town’s patrol car. He resigned from his post last week.

Anthony Corder, 27, recently discharged from the Marines, was hired in February as Pe Ell’s sole law enforcement officer. He announced his resignation April 15 prior to the Pe Ell Town Council’s regular meeting.

Mayor Spencer Nichols said he accepted Corder’s resignation.

“He just said he figured he wasn’t cut out to be a police officer,” Nichols said.

Corder, who had no previous law enforcement experience, was scheduled to begin at the police academy in March to become a commissioned and certified officer through the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. However, Spencer Nichols told The Chronicle recently that the new marshal had not yet started the training.

Corder, who was not on duty at the time of his DUI arrest, was driving on the 500 block of Main Street North in Pe Ell when he was contacted by a Lewis County Sheriff’s Office deputy, according to the sheriff’s office.

He pleaded not guilty last week to driving under the influence.

Corder’s preliminary breath test resulted in a .235 blood alcohol content — almost three times the legal limit — according to the report. About two hours later, at the jail, he submitted two additional tests that registered at .184 and .186, more than two times the legal limit.

The patrol car was turned over to Nichols, and Corder’s gun, which was his personal weapon but also the one he used while on duty, was in the passenger’s seat of the patrol car, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Corder, who recently moved to Pe Ell, was the sole applicant for the job. He earned about $1,500 a month working in Pe Ell part-time.

The town of Pe Ell will now search for a new town marshal for the second time this year.

Former marshal Steve Dawes announced his resignation Jan. 2. He resigned after the mayor reportedly deemed the town’s patrol car unsafe and took it out of use, leaving Dawes to use his personal vehicle to travel to and from work.

Dawes, who has worked as the town marshal for the past two years, previously said he couldn’t afford driving back and forth from his home in Centralia and resigned.

Pe Ell is currently accepting applications for the vacant position.

Preferred applicants will be commissioned and state certified or willing to obtain certification, according to the town. Salary will be based on experience.

The deadline to submit applications is May 12.

“We are in the process,” Nichols said.