From Eric Dondero:
Meet Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon. He's a real piece of work. A handsome, loving family man in campaign materials: with the tag line "Hometown values," on his campaign website. A big spending, wallet exploding, skirt chaser on the taxpayer dime, in his private life.
The Seattle Times reports, "Reardon resigns as Snohomish County executive -- Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon announced Thursday he will resign at the end of May because of continued allegations of misconduct":
Reardon, a Democrat, had grown increasingly isolated over the past two years as he weathered scandal after scandal: an alleged extramarital affair with a county employee, appearing to use county resources for his campaign, a Washington State Patrol criminal investigation into his travel.
His surprise resignation at the end of a routine speech came on the heels of newspaper reports that tied members of his staff to records requests about county employees who cooperated with the State Patrol investigation into Reardon.Some background from the Seattle Weekly, Nov. 17, 2011, "Aaron Reardon, Snohomish County Executive, Spent Taxpayer Money on 'Secret Mistress', Sources Say":
Thomas Swankosy remembers the day in the summer of 2006 when a tall, fit, blonde woman came into the Major League Pizza restaurant in Smokey Point, Wash. crying and reading a stack of letters. That woman, he and several others now say, was Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon's mistress.
State Rep. Mike Hope, Reardon's recently-defeated political opponent, as well as several other people who--as opposed to Hope--have seemingly no axe to grind with Reardon, say that the woman is a 41-year-old Snohomish County resident named Tamara Dutton. They also say that she has been in a long-term adulterous relationship with Reardon, in which, they say, taxpayer money was used frequently to support and/or cover up the relationship.
This information appears to dovetail with details from an ongoing investigation by the Washington State Patrol into Reardon's use of public funds. The Times did get the woman on the record saying that Snohomish County money was indeed used to finance several trips he took her on where he supposedly did little more than sit around wasting time.Set aside the personal scandals for a moment. Reardon, a former Christine Gregoire accolade, was considered a boy wonder in the Washington State Democrat Party. At one point, he was seen as the strongest contender for governor. Now he's on his way out the door. But not before he pulls one last slickster political move. A move that just happens to benefit the Democrat Party. Continuing from The Times:
By county charter, the Snohomish County Democrats will select three candidates to replace Reardon, and the Snohomish County Council will fill the seat by selecting from that group. That person will have to run in 2014, and the seat will be on the ballot again in 2015. Had Reardon stepped down by May 17, his seat could have been on the ballot this year. Waiting until May 31 essentially ensures a Democrat will stay in office an extra year.Exit question - Did Reardon cut a backroom deal with top State Dems to save his hide? A little exemption from prosecution, in return for the curiously-timed resignation date?