In fairness to all, he must take leave

I read with interest the article, “Reardon asked to take leave.” I support this request while our county executive is under investigation by the Washington State Patrol.

Since the issues surfaced late last year about possible abuses in the use of public funds and campaign irregularities, I was willing to give the county executive the benefit of the doubt. However, the continual revelation of potential misdeeds is providing more fodder that supports this call for him to step aside temporarily until the investigation is completed and facts are presented that either support his contention that nothing is amiss or show that he has violated the law.

Under county personnel rules, any administrative official who is suspected of any violation of county or state codes is placed on administrative leave until a thorough investigation is completed. This temporarily removes the named individual to ensure no interference with the investigation and allows the individual to prepare for any possible litigation or defense. Former President Harry S. Truman stated that “The buck stops here” when he accepted full responsibility for his and his subordinate’s actions.

I believe that in fairness to the public and we, the county taxpayers, our county executive should step aside temporarily while this investigation continues. Our county charter provides adequate protection for carrying on the administrative duties through our deputy county executive. Mr. Haakenson has already proven he is up to the challenge and carries with him a solid reputation as an elected official.

It is critical that county government continues to function as smoothly as possible during these trying economic times. Restoration of public trust is the prime objective here.

Alison W. Sing