Aaron Reardon steps down as County Executive

  • Written by office of the Snohomish County Executive
The following remarks were made by Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon at the conclusion of (his) 2013 State of the County Address:

“Over the period of nearly a decade it has been my honor to serve as your County Executive.  It has been a great pleasure to work on behalf of the community in which I was born and raised.  Together we have tackled great challenges and built a prosperous pathway on which this community can continue to travel and capitalize on the tremendous opportunities for collective success.  Together with our shared vision and through our ethic of hard work we have built the most competitive community in the state in which to invest.  That investment will lead to growth that will once again change the face of Snohomish County in all manners possible.  If properly nurtured – and I believe it will be – Snohomish County’s economy will undergo a change that will transform this county into a community of investment, opportunity and upward mobility for generations to come.

As all of you are aware, I have been the subject of recent media reports alleging, once again, misconduct by those working in the Executive Office.  These allegations are a continuation of efforts by groups who oppose me and who rely upon false allegations in order to discredit me and undermine my ability to discharge my duties as your Snohomish County Executive.

False allegations surfaced even before I was reelected.  As a result of these false allegations I became the subject of an exhaustive and lengthy criminal investigation just five days prior to the November 2011 election.  That investigation came to an end when the Island County Prosecutor concluded that I had committed no crimes and exonerated me.  Subsequently two recall petitions have been filed against me and both of those recall petitions have been dismissed. Unfortunately, I recently learned that a third recall petition will soon be filed.It is impossible for me to describe to you the emotional and financial toll these relentless attacks have taken on my wife, my family and me.

My wife and I have been required to spend tens of thousands of dollars on legal fees in order to defend against false and scurrilous allegations. These false allegations have also taken a tremendous toll on my marriage and our family life.

And, candidly, I don’t know how much a family can take or should take. And, the time I have had to spend addressing the myriad of false allegations has distracted me from doing my job as your County Executive.

Enough is enough.

Accordingly, I am today making two announcements.

First, I am formally requesting an investigation by an outside, independent agency whose impartiality and objectivity cannot be questioned.  The investigation should focus upon all allegations made against me and members of my staff, as well as any other issues suggesting misconduct by other Snohomish County government officials.

I pledge to fully cooperate in any such investigation.  I believe the citizens of Snohomish County deserve to know the truth about their elected officials something that can only occur if the investigation is independently conducted.

Second, I tender my resignation as Snohomish County Executive effective May 31, 2013.This should provide the Democratic Party sufficient time to nominate three candidates to the Snohomish County Council for their consideration.  And it should afford the County Council sufficient time to select an interim executive.

Between now and then I will continue to serve the good people of Snohomish County and will assist the interim executive with a seamless transition into his or her new job. I thank you for the great honor and privilege you have bestowed upon me to work on your behalf for the past 15 years.I will be making no further comment.”

from Stephanie Wright, Council Chair, Snohomish County Council
The Snohomish County Council was met February 21 by news of the unexpected resignation of County Executive Aaron Reardon. Requests have been made to councilmembers and staff to clarify the appointment process that will follow. After a formal resignation is presented by Executive Reardon to the County Council, we will have 60 days from the date the vacancy occurs to appoint a successor. A list of three candidates will be presented to the council by the county central committee of the party representing the elected official whose office has been vacated.
If the Council is not able to reach a decision during this time period, the appointment will then be tasked to the governor, who will have 30 days to reach a decision. The filing deadline for the 2013 general election is May 17, so the individual appointed would fill the vacancy until the 2014 general election.
The successful candidate from the 2014 general election will be required to run again in 2015 for a 4-year term ...

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