The Snohomish county prosecutor says he may call for an outside investigation into a massive records request allegedly filed by a county employee using a fake name. The staffer works for Snohomish county executive Aaron Reardon.
According to the Everett Herald, a member of Reardon's staff used a fake name to anonymously file numerous public records requests against his political rivals. The requests include email, travel receipts, and phone records. One of those targeted is the county's own prosecutor Mark Roe.
At this point, it's a public disclosure request. It's a massive one, said Mark Roe. It's still there. We're still working [on it]. At this point we've already put 160 hours into it to respond to this, and that's the law.
Roe says since he represents the county, Reardon is technically one of his clients. So he's struggling with a decision to ask an outside agency to investigate what may be an attempt to intimidate public servants.
When you're making such a broad request, of so many people, at the same time, it sure does feel like harrassment doesn't it? said Roe.
The records request also targets some city council members, including Dave Somers, who triggered a state patrol investigation into allegations that Reardon misused county money during an extramarital affair. Reardon was never charged with a crime.
On Friday, the county council members were at a retreat and could not be reached for comment.
In a released statement, Hulten said Reardon had no role in his efforts access public records, which is my right right under state law.
My efforts were undertaken privately, outside of work, independent of and without support or direction from anyone affiliated with county government, Hulten said in the statement. The suggestion by anyone that a request for access to public documents somehow constitutes 'harassment' or 'surveillance' is absurd and contradictory to the intent of the public Records Act.