aaron reardon01.jpg
Aaron Reardon
With only five days left before the election for Snohomish County Executive, the most interesting race in this year's election just got more

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Aaron Reardon, Snohomish County Executive, Investigated for Misuse of State Money

aaron reardon01.jpg
Aaron Reardon
With only five days left before the election for Snohomish County Executive, the most interesting race in this year's election just got more interesting.

The Washington State Patrol just announced that it has opened a criminal investigation into possible misuse of state funds by current SCE Aaron Reardon.

The WSP investigation comes at the request of the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. But besides stating that the investigation concerns state money, WSP isn't saying anything else.

KOMO quotes WSP spokesman Bob Calkins saying:

"We're not going to be any more specific about the nature of the investigation other than to say there's an allegation of the misuse of public funds," he said.

The election for Snohomish County Executive features Reardon the Democratic incumbent squaring off against Republican state Rep. Mike Hope and has easily been the most highly-charged race in the state with accusations by both camps of misusing money and launching sleazy attacks.

Most recently we reported about the strange case of Reardon's aide Kevin Hulten whose address turned up on a Public Disclosure Commission complaint against Hope and led to accusations that Reardon was using his taxpayer-funded staffers to go after his political rival.

Hope too has had his share of controversies including accusations (later proven unfounded) that he was using money from a non-profit group he founded to bankroll his campaign and that his use of a Seattle Police Department uniform (Hope is an SPD officer) in campaign ads was illegal.

Reardon wasn't immediately available for comment.

Hope, however, was.

"I hope its not true," Hope tells Seattle Weekly. "Aaron's got a family at home. So yeah, I hope its not true. No matter who wins this election, I pledge to create an Office of Public Integrity, so we can hold politicians accountable. If Aaron Reardon had a an Office of Public Accountability in place, this might have never happened."

Hope says he suspects the investigation might be concerning a trip Reardon took to Europe with Gov. Gregoire and member of the Trade Development Alliance in which, Hope says, money was accounted for "by writing figures on napkins."

In previous interviews with Seattle Weekly Reardon has denied any accounting issues during the trip and cited the three reasons for going to Europe as "Boeing. Boeing. Boeing."

UPDATE: Reardon spokesperson Christopher Schwarzen just sent in a statement in which he refers to the allegations as an "appalling charade".

"I have not been notified or given any details by the Washington State Patrol or anybody else regarding an accusation of 'misuse of funds.'

"This is a nameless, baseless accusation that comes five days before the election. I am more than confident that voters in Snohomish County will see through this appalling charade and not be duped.

"All funding appropriations and expenditures are reviewed by multiple departments as they are made as well as by the state auditor's office on an annual basis. There are numerous checks and balances in place to prevent the misuse of public funds and to identify any discrepancies.

"In addition, earlier allegations made against me by a Republican Party Officer in April, regarding the misuse of funds for travel were categorically dismissed by the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission."

Additionally, Schwarzen also confirmed that he too has been hearing a growing rumor that the the investigation was originally called for by Snohomish County Councilmember Dave Somers, a Democrat.

Seattle Weekly reached out to Somers' office for confirmation but have not heard back yet.

 
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