Reardon recall effort remains on hold

MOUNT VERNON — A political blogger’s push to recall Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon will remain on hold until the state’s elections watchdog has decided whether the executive violated state campaign laws, a judge decided Wednesday.

The hearing on whether the Reardon recall can move ahead is unlikely to resume until next year, as the state Public Disclosure Commission investigates evidence that the executive used county resources during his 2011 re-election.

Wednesday’s hearing in Skagit County Superior Court lasted about an hour, said Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Gordon Sivley, who is representing the county government — not Reardon individually — and is neutral in the process.

Judge Michael Rickert’s ruling to stay the hearing followed a request from Reardon’s attorney, Tyson Harper of Seattle.

The case was moved to Skagit County to avoid possible conflicts of interest for Snohomish County judges.

Anne Block, an attorney who lives in Gold Bar and runs a political blog, initiated the recall petition.

Under Washington law, a recall petition must be based on evidence pointing to misfeasance, malfeasance or violating the oath of office.

The courts dismissed a previous version of Block’s recall effort because she failed to sign the paperwork under oath. Block participated in Wednesday’s hearing by phone.

State elections investigators are looking into Reardon’s interaction with political fundraiser Colby Underwood and campaign-related work by the executive’s office aide, Kevin Hulten.

Reardon has said he was talking with Underwood about an alternative energy project at the former Cathcart landfill, not the consultant’s effort to help him raise campaign cash.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@heraldnet.com.

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