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Originally published Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 9:09 PM

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Reardon probe comes down to $6 on county credit card for taxi

A Washington State Patrol investigation into Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon's use of funds revealed just $6 in questionable charges.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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After six months of investigation, the Washington State Patrol's investigation into Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon came down to a $6 cab ride. That's the only questionable charge investigators found on Reardon's county credit-card bill within the statute of limitations on misuse of public funds.

Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks declined earlier this month to press charges against the executive, who is a Democrat.

An investigative file released this week by the State Patrol says Tamara Dutton, who says she had a six-year affair with Reardon, told investigators she was in the taxi with Reardon in Chicago in 2010. But most of that trip was paid for by a Democratic group, not the county.

Another trip that Dutton says she took with Reardon in 2007 was too long ago to be included in the investigation. The state Public Disclosure Commission is still investigating whether Reardon illegally used county resources for his campaign.

Reardon hasn't spoken about the months-long criminal investigation or his alleged relationship with Dutton. The file includes details of interviews State Patrol investigators did with more than a dozen of Reardon's staff members and former staff members.

His assistant, Nancy Peinecke, told detectives Reardon had purchased a hotel "intimacy kit" on his county credit card on a 2007 trip to Washington, D.C. — then she resigned a few weeks later.

Among the more interesting interviews is a report on Detective Craig Cardinal's hourlong phone conversation with Gary Weikel, a former deputy county executive and Reardon's former acting parks director. Weikel, a 20-year county employee, didn't hold back:

"Mr. Weikel described Reardon as a pathological liar. He further said that Reardon does not work with the Snohomish County Council, but instead alienated the relationship that had been built in the past with the council members. Mr. Weikel further advised that the Boeing Company wants nothing to do with Reardon and that Reardon had destroyed the relationship with the Boeing Company. Weikel described the relationship that Reardon had with the Jay Inslee office and that it was in poor standings. Weikel stated that there had been a questionable relationship with "Masterbuilders" of Snohomish County and that there had been rumored benefits given to Reardon ... Mr. Weikel described Reardon as being virtually non-existent at the county office but always has time to do his own things, such as promoting himself for the future, and exercise."

To reach a Seattle Times political editor, call 206-464-2204.

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