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Politics Northwest

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

February 14, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Herald story ties Reardon staffers to mysterious records requests

The Herald of Everett has an interesting story today about online attacks and records requests they say are tied digitally to two people who work for Snohomish County Aaron Reardon. According to the story, a Reardon executive analyst and administrative assistant are tied to intimidating records requests by someone named “Edmond Thomas” — the reporters say the name is a reference to The Count of Monte Cristo.

The records requests target people who cooperated last year with an investigation of Reardon by the Washington State Patrol. (Reardon was cleared of criminal wrongdoing in that investigation.) There’s also a glowing Wikipedia profile of the executive, and a less-flattering one about Gold Bar activist Anne Block.

One of the Reardon staffers involved, Kevin Hulten, refused to cooperate with detectives during the investigation and used a fake name to make a records request during Reardon’s 2011 campaign. The Herald story quotes County Council member John Koster saying the records requests “appear to be retribution.”

Early this evening, Reardon issued this statement through spokesman Christopher Schwarzen:

“Earlier today I met with Mr. Hulten and Mr. Rudicil regarding Thursday’s media account. Mr. Hulten apologized to me for any distraction and embarrassment caused by the article which ran in the Everett Herald suggesting that his outside and personal activities occurred at my direction. He informed me that his actions are private and did not interfere with his official responsibilities at the county. His motivations were his own. Any suggestion to the contrary is untrue. All county staff members have the same rights as any other citizen to request and review public documents – and they frequently do. The requests referenced in today’s media account are for documents that are routinely requested of public officials by members of the public and/or the media.”

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