The Snohomish County Council voted 4-0 Monday to accept the verbal resignation of county executive Aaron Reardon.

Reardon announced his resignation during his Feb. 21 State of the County address. He vowed to step down by May 31, but never turned over a formal, written resignation.

According to Councilmember Dave Sommers, the county attorney determined that a letter was not needed, and the verbal resignation at the Feb. 21 address is binding. This does not vacate the position. It means councilmembers have formally accepted Reardon's resignation.

This allows us to move forward in a clear manner and end speculation and confusion that has been swirling for several months, said Somers. We are ready to move on.

Reardon said he was tendering his resignation because of the emotional and financial toll that a series of controversies and investigation had put on his family.

Monday's council vote also requests that the Snohomish County Democratic Party submit three candidates to replace Reardon, who is a Democrat who was elected to his position.

Democratic Chairman Richard Wright said those names would be submitted at a June 1 meeting. Councilmembers will then appoint the next executive from those candidates.

The person considered to be the frontrunner is Snohomish County Sheriff John Lovick. Lovick has already begun forming a transition committee. Other possible nominees include State Rep. John McCoy and Todd Nichols, an Everett attorney and former county Democratic Party chairman.

The appointed candidate will serve until a public vote in November 2014 to finish the current four-year term. A second election would be held in November 2015 to begin a new four-year executive term. Regardless of Monday's council vote to accept Reardon's resignation, a vote of the people would not happen until next year anyway because Reardon himself chose to resign after the May 13 deadline.

Reardon's office has not commented on Monday's vote.

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