Former Reardon aide reports for work-crew sentence

EVERETT — Kevin Hulten on Monday began serving five days on a Skagit County work crew after admitting he destroyed evidence in a criminal investigation that focused on his misconduct while working for a former Snohomish County executive.

Hulten, 35, was hired by Aaron Reardon to work as a legislative analyst. Reardon resigned from his third term in 2013 as county executive when the King County Sheriff’s Office began investigating evidence that Hulten had engaged in a pattern of on-the-job monkey business targeting people seen as Reardon’s political rivals.

Hulten in July pleaded guilty to evidence tampering, a gross misdemeanor. He admitted downloading a program that wiped data from the hard drive of a county-owned computer he knew detectives wanted to examine.

In spite of the tampering, the investigation turned up a trove of records detailing misconduct on Reardon’s watch, including a document written by Hulten in which he complained about insufficient rewards for what he called “black hat jobs.”

Skagit County prosecutors handled the case to help Snohomish County officials avoid a conflict of interest. Hulten pleaded guilty as charged.

Cascade District Court Judge Jay Wisman on July 7 sentenced Hulten to serve five days on a Skagit County work crew and to pay a $1,500 fine. He also assessed him nearly $2,000 in court costs and fees.

On Monday morning, Skagit County officials faxed the judge to report that Hulten had begun serving his sentence as scheduled. He is set to complete his time by Sept. 2, according to court records.

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