State Patrol hands over Reardon case to prosecutor
Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon has been under investigation since October, just before his election to a third term as executive.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The State Patrol has completed its criminal investigation into Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon's use of public funds, turning it over Friday to a prosecutor who will decide whether to file charges.
But detectives left two pieces of work undone: They have not interviewed the executive himself, and said one of Reardon's top advisers refused to cooperate with the investigation.
After six months, Island County Prosecuting Attorney Greg Banks told detectives he would rather see their work so far than wait longer for Reardon and his adviser, Kevin Hulten, to be interviewed, said State Patrol spokesman Bob Calkins.
Patrol investigators didn't recommend in their report whether to file charges, Calkins said.
In a statement, Reardon's attorney, John Wolfe, said State Patrol investigators didn't attempt to schedule an interview until April 26.
Reardon has been under investigation since October, just before his election to a third term as executive. The investigation has cast a shadow on the ambitious executive, 41, who was considered a rising star.
It began when a woman who said she had a six-year affair with Reardon told a County Council member that Reardon traveled with her on county trips but did little work. Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Roe referred the case to Banks to avoid a conflict.
When news of the investigation broke, Reardon shot back, calling it a political attack. He denied criminal wrongdoing, though he has not denied an affair with the woman, Tamara Dutton, a county employee he has known since high school.
Since then, Dutton has produced records that back up her claims, and a second woman has said she also had a sexual relationship with Reardon. Records released as part of the investigation showed the executive made personal and campaign calls on his taxpayer-paid phone and raised money for his campaign while his official calendar said he was in staff meetings.
The Public Disclosure Commission also is investigating Reardon's campaign activity.
Reardon has declined to address the allegations. He couldn't be reached Friday.
In a statement, Reardon's attorney said he takes strong exception to the State Patrol saying Reardon declined a request for an interview. The attorney's schedule was too busy to schedule an interview before the middle of May, he wrote.
The State Patrol won't release the report until Banks says he considers the investigation complete. The prosecutor could ask detectives to make another attempt to interview Reardon or Hulten.
In an email, Banks said he was out of his office all day and hasn't been able to look at the investigation to see whether he considers it complete.
Emily Heffter: 206-464-8246 or email@example.com. On Twitter @EmilyHeffter.