Former Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon, the Democrat who resigned in disgrace in 2013, was charged by the state Public Disclosure Commission today for breaking several laws during his 2011 campaign. The charges follow a lengthy 3.5 year investigation of Reardon’s corruption. The charges of campaign violations come over four years since Reardon’s last campaign.
Reardon won re-election in 2011 to a third term, but soon the accusations against him began piling up.
- Reardon conducted a 6-year affair with a county employee, often holding long phone conversations with her during office hours and leaving work early to rendezvous with her. His mistress even accompanied him on an official out-of-state trip, where Reardon purchased a hotel “intimacy kit” on a county credit card.
- He used county resources to campaign and raise money, including sitting in his county office during business hours with his campaign fundraiser “dialing for dollars” on his county-paid phone. Reardon claimed that the copious amount of time spent in his county office with fundraising consultant Colby Underwood was regarding a potential methane-to-electricity alternative energy project Underwood represented. Phone records proved this was a lie.
- Reardon aides used county time and computers to harass officials seen as enemies of Reardon and dig up dirt on his 2011 opponent, state Rep. Mike Hope. One aide, Kevin Hulten, set up shell companies, various online identities and e-mail accounts for political purposes. While on taxpayer-paid time, Hulten filed public records requests, conducted opposition research, and made disparaging online comments against anyone who was seen as not sufficiently kowtowing to Reardon.
New PDC charges were also filed against Hulten, the Reardon aide. He previously pleaded guilty in 2014 to destroying evidence. He received a $1,500 fine, was ordered to pay $2,000 in court costs, and served five days on a Skagit County work crew.
As to Reardon’s unresolved issues, the Everett Herald noted: “Officeholders in Washington are prohibited from using public resources for political campaigns. Doing so violates state elections law and Snohomish County’s ethics code, and can lead to steep fines.” After resigning office, Reardon moved his family out of state and has kept a low profile – but that won’t protect him from the long arm of the law.
Another day, another leftist.
Clay Fitzgerald says
Just more political corruption from the dems!