Former school board member pleads guilty to possessing child porn

whatcom county courthouse bellingham wa
Whatcom County Courthouse (July 29, 2016). My Ferndale News file photo

Former Ferndale School District board member and local businessman Stuart McKay, age 69, pled guilty to 1 charge of possession of pornography depicting minors Wednesday, August 22nd, in Whatcom County Superior Court.

McKay was arrested in September of 2016 after “suspicious material” was found on a computer at the BP Cherry Point Refinery that had been used by McKay while working as a Matrix Service contract employee. The investigation revealed evidence of an “extensive amount” of child pornography contained on the computer, including sexually explicit images of infants and young children according to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.

Whatcom County Prosecutor Eric Richey recommended 6 months jail time for 1 count of 2nd degree possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, a class C felony. The standard sentencing range is 3 to 9 months. McKay had no previous criminal history and his guilty plea was result of a plea agreement according to court documents. He had been charged with 2 counts of 1st degree and 2 counts of 2nd degree possession but those charges were dropped.

McKay was remanded to jail while awaiting sentencing.

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Formal sentencing by the court is awaiting a requested presentence investigation into McKay’s background and the circumstances of the offense to determine whether inpatient or community-based treatment should be recommended. According to Richey, sentencing is expected within 60 days.

Department of Corrections records at this time indicate McKay is expected to be released in January 2019.

McKay would be required to register with local law enforcement once released from jail according to court documents.

McKay represented District 2 on the Ferndale School Board between 2004 and 2016. He resigned from the board in 2016 citing personal reasons. McKay and his wife operate McKay’s Variety & Antiques at 2036 Main Street.

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