A recent article followed up a report by KOMO TV on the Aaron Reardon probe. (Sunday, “Reardon affair revisited: What investigation cost.”) One can see a possible dereliction of duty by our own county officials. Why would not our duly elected prosecuting attorney ask the Superior Court judges to authorize a grand jury to investigate this matter, rather than ask the State Patrol to investigate a limited number of claims of illegal activities by the county executive and at least one member of his staff?
Our county history records show a grand jury investigation which resulted in charges against a sheriff who ended up in prison. In the mid-70s, another grand jury investigated illegal activities by a county commissioner. Although no charges against this elected official came about, other county employees were charged with violations of the law.
It is interesting that neither the county executive or his “hired gun” would talk to the State Patrol. That, of course, is their right. And, neither would have to talk to a grand jury. But that would not stop either the prosecutor or members of the grand jury from seeking answers.
Certainly “dialing for dollars” using county offices and county equipment are illegal. And, using a staff member’s time to go to another city and try to find records relating to the opponent in an election appears to be illegal use of county resources.
While I have always admired our county prosecutor during his long career in that office, it really appears to this “old man” that he totally dropped the ball on this one.