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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

June 20, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Reardon’s cell-phone use changed during WSP investigation

No charges stemmed from a criminal investigation into Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon’s use of county resources, but the investigation sure changed the way Reardon uses his county cell phone.
Cell phone records for the last several years released during the Washington State Patrol investigation showed Reardon, a Democrat, routinely used his county phone to talk to his wife, friends, alleged mistress, campaign staff and people who gave money to his campaign. Personal phone conversations sometimes lasted for hours during the workday.
But records released from his office this week show in the first five months he was under investigation, he cut his taxpayer-paid cell phone use dramatically. The numbers he called were mostly county extensions or the cell phones of his own staff members.
In the first 9 months of 2011, he was charged between $84 and $288 each month for going over his allotted number of minutes per month. Between November 2011 and April 2012, though, he didn’t exceed his number of minutes once.
Reardon was cleared of criminal wrongdoing by the Island County Prosecuting Attorney, but he still faces an investigation into his campaign practices by the state Public Disclosure Commission, as well as a recall petition, filed last week by Gold Bar attorney Anne Block.

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