By Noah Haglund Herald Writer
EVERETT — A Gold Bar blogger and attorney has made good on her promise to refile a petition seeking to remove Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon from office.
The Snohomish County Elections Division served Reardon with the new recall paperwork Monday.
The county received the reworked petition Friday, a day after a Superior Court judge dismissed a nearly identical recall petition from attorney Anne Block, who also maintains a political blog. The judge deemed the previous petition fatally flawed because Block failed to include a sworn statement in support of her allegations.
The only differences between the two versions are the dates and a paragraph now making it clear that the allegations are being sworn under oath.
Under Washington law, a recall petition must be based on allegations of specific types of wrongdoing: misfeasance, malfeasance or violating the oath of office. The person seeking the recall has no duty to prove the allegations, but must present some evidence that the concerns are based in fact.
If a judge decides a recall petition meets state law, it can move on to the signature-gathering phase.
In her petition, Block accuses Reardon of improperly using county resources, including a county staffer and computers, to schedule meetings in April 2011 with his political fundraising consultant. Block also accuses Reardon of breaking state law in June 2011 by using his county cellphone for “lobbying.”
She presents no independent evidence of the allegations. However, Reardon’s official schedules, phone records and staff emails show that he campaigned using public resources, according to separate examinations by The Herald and The Seattle Times.
County attorneys Monday were processing the new recall paperwork, as required by law, and expected to file it in Superior Court later this week, deputy prosecuting attorney Gordon Sivley said.
The previous recall effort was moved to Skagit County to avoid a conflict of interest after Block and Reardon’s attorneys agreed to change the venue. The new petition will start in Snohomish County, but is likely to be moved elsewhere.
Thursday’s brief hearing in Mount Vernon ended after a judge decided that legal flaws required him to dismiss Block’s petition. Attorneys never had the chance to debate the merits of the recall effort. Block did not attend in person, but participated by phone.
Reardon’s attorneys have filed a motion arguing that Block’s earlier petition was “harassing” and groundless. They noted that the Superior Court has dismissed recall petitions Block has filed against other elected officials.
Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465, email@example.com.