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Originally published May 5, 2012 at 8:50 PM | Page modified May 5, 2012 at 8:50 PM

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Reardon's aide refused to be interviewed by detectives, filed complaint

An aide to Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon filed an official complaint with the Washington State Patrol after refusing to be interviewed by detectives.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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An aide to Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon filed an official complaint with the Washington State Patrol after refusing to be interviewed by detectives.

The aide, Kevin Hulten, said he scheduled an interview in January with State Patrol investigators as part of their criminal investigation into his boss's travel records. But he said he decided he wasn't comfortable with the questions detectives planned to ask him, so he canceled the interview and offered to give them a written statement instead.

"In this case, we felt an interview was appropriate, and that's what our detectives wanted," said State Patrol spokesman Bob Calkins.

On Friday, after six months of investigation, the Washington State Patrol delivered its completed report on Reardon to Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks.

Banks will decide whether to file charges against the executive, who was investigated for misuse of county funds. Records show Reardon used county-paid trips to help carry out an affair with a county employee and used his phone and office time to do campaign work.

The WSP turned in its report without interviewing Hulten or Reardon.

Reardon wasn't able to schedule an interview until mid-May, and Hulten refused to cooperate, Calkins said.

In his Feb. 23 complaint, Hulten detailed what he believes were violations of State Patrol policy by Calkins and a detective. "Five months of police leaks have irreparably damaged the credibility of the investigation and harmed the reputation of Snohomish County and many of its employees," he wrote, and included excerpts from news stories, including in The Seattle Times.

The State Patrol investigated Hulten's complaint, Calkins said, and resolved it. Hulten said he got two letters from the State Patrol saying Calkins had been cleared of wrongdoing and that the agency handled the complaint about the detective internally.

Both Hulten and an attorney for Reardon disputed the State Patrol's statements that the two men didn't make themselves available for interviews. Emails Hulten provided show he was in frequent communication with detectives, but that he wasn't willing to answer questions on some topics and wanted his attorney present for an interview. Emails from detectives on the case indicate they were having a hard time reaching Hulten, and when they reached a man Hulten indicated was his attorney, in at least one case, the attorney said he was not representing Hulten.

Hulten, an analyst in Reardon's office, has been at the center of a controversy involving Reardon before. He was accused during Reardon's re-election campaign last year of using a fake name to dig up information on Reardon's opponent, state Rep. Mike Hope.

Hulten did find and release to the media details about a traffic stop involving Hope in Mill Creek, but he said he did it on his own time and it wasn't an official campaign activity.

Emily Heffter: 206-464-8246 or On Twitter @EmilyHeffter.

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