Update: 3:30 p.m. Thursday: Washington State Republican Party Chairman Kirby Wilbur released the following statement regarding the resignation of Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon:
“It is a good day for those of us who believe in good government. As the leader of Snohomish County, Aaron Reardon epitomized hypocrisy, corruption and everything that is wrong with politics today. The significant abuse of power taking place in his office has left citizens of Snohomish County with a severe lack of trust in their leaders, something I hope will be repaired in due time.
“In his final act of defiance, Reardon has chosen to resign his post on May 31, which will push a special election to fill the seat until November of 2014. After everything he's put the voters through, it's time for Reardon to do the right thing and resign effectively immediately. Residents in Snohomish County deserve a chance to pick a replacement on Election Day 2013.
“It's clear Snohomish County deserves better. The Washington State Republican Party and Snohomish County GOP will be working hard to find an honorable and trustworthy candidate that will bring integrity back to the County Executive's office and return control to the Republicans, which we hope will be in November of this year.”
Update 2:15 p.m. Thursday: Washington State Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz issued the following statement on the resignation of Aaron Reardon as Snohomish County Executive:
"The Democratic Party would like to thank Aaron Reardon for his years of service to the people of Snohomish County and the entire State of Washington. While Reardon has clearly made mistakes while in office, we are grateful that he stepped forward to serve his community. We wish him and his family the best in their future endeavors."
Original post --
Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon announced Thursday morning he will resign from his position at the end of May, according to various media reports.
The embattled politician was the focus of a six-month Washington State Patrol investigation that stemmed from allegations he misused public funds while having an extramarital affair. The WSP investigation concluded in June 2012 and found insufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges against Reardon.
But controversy continued to follow the county executive. The state Public Disclosure Commission recently launched an investigation into allegations he used taxpayer funds on political campaigns, and the Snohomish County Council voted Wednesday to remove his authority to operate the county's computers, according to The Daily Herald.
In a statement provided to The Herald, Reardon said the ongoing allegations had negatively impacted his family.
These false allegations have also taken a tremendous toll on my marriage and our family life. And, candidly, I don’t know how much a family can take or should take. And, the time I have had to spend addressing the myriad of false allegations has distracted me from doing my job as your County Executive. Enough is enough.
In his statement, Reardon also requested an investigation into the allegations against him by "an outside, independent agency whose impartiality and objectivity cannot be questioned."
Reardon, a Democrat, was first elected to the executive post in 2003, after representing the 38th Legislative District in the state house of representatives.