Aaron Reardon Prevails in Snoho Exec Race--First Order of Business: His Own Criminal Investigation

Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon fended off his most serious political challenger last night, beating Republican state Rep. Mike Hope handily with 56 percent of the vote. One of Reardon's first orders of business now: Sorting out the criminal investigation that was launched into his spending just last week.

Reardon's spending has come under the microscope by the Washington State Patrol at the request of Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Roe, who, in turn, was tipped off about potential shady practices by a member of Reardon's own Democratic party, Snohomish County Councilman Dave Somers.

In conversations about the investigation last week, Somers was cagey about his reasons for suspecting Reardon. The two had gone together on a trade mission to Australia in 2006, the expenses of that trip and others having been the subject of many questions. But Somers says his suspicions about Reardon don't stem from anything that happened on that trip.

The WSP, meanwhile, is also remaining tight lipped about the investigation. As of this morning WSP spokesman Bob Calkins could only confirm that the investigation was indeed still going on and that there was no ETA on when it might wrap up.

For his part, Reardon has called the accusations "nameless, baseless and false" and an "appalling charade."

The part about being "nameless" isn't quite true, as it's his own travel buddy Somers that has levied them.

Whether the charges are indeed "baseless and false" remains to be seen. But given the multiple parties involved in this story, the outcome of WSP's investigation should speak volumes about more than just Aaron Reardon.

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