Friday, August 13, 2010

Controversial Emails Finally Shown

The good citizens of Sumner have tried to bring forward the numerous flaws in councilmember Matt Richardson who chose to run against me in a primary. The press suppressed the information during Richardson's unsuccessful run for mayor last year.

In this election he was endorsed by the South Sound Ronald Reagan Club where he is vice-president. And, he has been endorsed by the Mainstream Republicans (a group that grips that it is not included in the mainstream of republican politics...because they are liberal). In any event, neither group invited me to an interview. And, both groups knew of his police records, etc. I personally told Alex Hayes, executive director of the mainstreamsers, about the sex issues with kids when Richardson was a teen. Hayes recommended to his board that the group give an endorsement. He and Richardson are good friends, he said. Oh.

Before reading this editorial...what they don't say is that the woman receiving the emails ended up with a divorce over this. Oh well. She's not the first.

Published: 08/12/1012:05 am | Updated: 08/12/10 8:22 am

Matt Richardson was apparently aware that messages written on the City of Sumner’s e-mail system are public records – aware enough that the city councilman devised a code for communicating certain information.

“... conversations about business are good here,” he wrote in 2008 to a city volunteer. “Personal things like meeting me at the Seattle Westin room 1708 on May 10 at 3, could be broken down to SWR1708-5/10-3.”

Richardson wasn’t as clever as he’d hoped: He detailed his plan to evade public disclosure in a public document.

The Sumner councilman’s bumbling, brazen attempt at obfuscation is now among the e-mail messages being reviewed by the state auditor’s office for possible ethical violations. Sumner’s code of ethics bans the use of city property for “personal convenience or profit.”

The e-mails were brought to the auditor’s attention by Chris Clifford, a supporter of state Sen. Pam Roach, whose re-election Richardson is challenging.

Clifford alleges the e-mails detail an extramarital dalliance between Richardson and the city volunteer.

Perhaps, perhaps not. Richardson claims the two are just friends and liked to joke about their “affair.” The only two people who probably know the truth are Richardson and the woman.

Of greater public concern is what the e-mails bare about Richardson’s fitness for the Legislature.

Over a two-month span, he sent three dozen e-mails to the volunteer full of flirtatious riddles and teasing about “sexual tension.” That speaks to a troubling lack of judgment, no matter what was happening (or not) in his personal life.

Elected officials should conduct themselves in a professional manner, and they shouldn’t be looking for ways to circumvent public oversight of their work.

At best, Richardson used the trappings of authority to engage in a wholly inappropriate conversation with a city volunteer.

That kind of official conduct does not bode well for Richardson’s ability to effectively represent the 31st Legislative District in the state Senate. Voters, take note.

Comments (0) Actually, I was told that the comments got so bad they were pulled! Yikes...I never saw them, myself...but I heard Richardson lashed out...ranting and blaming and anything but taking responsibility. (Nice endorsement Alex.)PR

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