Former aide to Snohomish County executive charged

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) - A one-time aide to former Snohomish County executive Aaron Reardon is facing a criminal evidence-tampering charge.
   
The Daily Herald reports that 35-year-old Kevin Hulten is accused of downloading a data-wiping program onto a county-owned laptop just hours before he was required to surrender the computer for examination by King County detectives.
   
The investigators were trying to determine whether Hulten had broken any laws after being linked by The Herald to a shadowy effort that targeted Reardon's political rivals with spoof emails and records requests filed under fake names.
   
Hulten's attorney, Jim Johanson, says his client is scheduled to make a first appearance in Cascade District Court in Arlington on July 7 and intends to plead guilty.
   
Reardon, a once-promising figure in the state Democratic Party, resigned last year after a string of scandals that included an affair with a county social worker.