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Corruption in Washington State, In other news, Snohomish County Follies

WTH??? So our elections are now bashing campaigns?

Here we go with the Hope Vs Reardon, & Everett Herald Vs Reardon, namely Scott North & Noah Haglund Vs Reardon AGAIN.

So the Herald comes out with a story again about how much thicker their file is getting on this whole mess. I swear I was actually starting to think that they were using journalistic integrity & finally reporting the whole story. That is what I get for thinking. The whole story is great, I am buying it hook line & sinker til I got to the last paragraph. Well of course they post all the info they have on Reardon or rather on Hulten but they decline to post Mike Hope’s record & say he can share that with us all if he so chooses.

@#&@&#% WTH??? SERIOUSLY? So kids what have we learned here today? Don’t piss off the Herald Reporters if you live in their area, & once they get it in for you you are toast. Don’t expect hard hitting news from them either, just editorials & opinions.

Several things happened this evening: I seen the Reardon camp’s latest smear ad, not flattering at all, actually kind of disgusting. Then I seen a new “need to know” post, so just when I was gravitating towards the Hope campaign I see the Herald’s latest smear campaign. See folks it is a smear campaign, but the difference is it is free, & the newspaper gets plenty of advertising funds so they can afford to do this for free. If Mr Hope was running a political campaign he would’ve quashed this a long time ago but since he sees the opportunity to get free publicity while smearing his opponent he is just riding the wave. The problem is that the voters in Snohomish County in the outlying areas, actually have access to other sources of news, they actually leave Snohomish County, they even (gasp) have cable. Oh & they have been known to think for themselves!!!

So below is the article with the links to the documents regarding what the Herald wanted to show you… Pleae push the link below for the full story & the PDF documents, as well as the comments with tons of nifty links from both sides of the camp

Our file on the Reardon-Hope records skirmish gets thicker

Friday, October 7, 2011 | 6:05 pm

Throughout this week we continued to dig into the controversysurrounding a Snohomish County government employee’s efforts to find dirt on Mike Hope, the Seattle cop and state legislator who is running to unseat two-term incumbent County Executive Aaron Reardon.Public records requests The Herald made to the Mill Creek Police Department turned up more documents from a traffic stop 11 years ago that Hope probably would have liked to see consigned to the mists of time.But the newly released records also unveiled a paper trail detailing how Kevin Hulten, who is paid $59,000 a year to work for Reardon as an executive analyst, early last month engaged in what he characterized as an urgent, on-deadline hunt for records related to Hope.

In the box to the right are documents we think best lay out what we found. Read. React below.

If you’d rather spend your time in more productive ways, however, here are the details with dots connected.

Kevin Hulten

On Sept. 8 Hulten, of Lake Stevens, apparently showed up in person at Mill Creek police headquarters. He filed a public records request for information related to a March 2000 traffic stop in which Hope was a passenger. The driver, a woman that Hope then was dating, was arrested and charged with drunken driving. She later pleaded guilty to negligent driving.

Hulten learned details of the traffic incident after reviewing Seattle police disciplinary records for Hope, who was punished in 2001 for trying to talk the cops out of arresting his date that night and then getting lippy when they refused. Hulten attached some of the Seattle documents about Hope to his Sept. 8 Mill Creek record request.

The Seattle documents surfaced after a records request by a Hulten associate, John Chambers of Seattle. Chambers stepped forward recently and acknowledged investigating Hope and filing campaign complaints against him.

In his Mill Creek records request, Hulten identified himself as “Stephen K. Hulten” but signed the document with his given name (which court records say is Kevin T. Hulten). A verifiable street address, working phone numbers and Hulten’s email account were provided to police.

Hulten also brought with him a copy of a Sept. 6 request to Mill Creek police, filed by Chambers, seeking the same records Hulten wanted.

Police were left with the impression that Hulten and Chambers were somehow connected, enough so that they sought Hulten’s help this week in tracking Chambers down to update him on the status of his records request.

Mill Creek officials also believed Hulten and his inquiry were somehow connected to the weekly Lake Stevens Journal newspaper.

On Sept. 9, Hulten exchanged several emails with Mill Creek’s records technician, indicating he had urgent need for the Hope documents. The messages were sent from his Gmail account at 12:20 p.m., 12:40 p.m., 1:13 p.m. and 2:10 p.m.

Hulten wrote that he was on deadline and needed to let his boss know whether the police department would be releasing the records that day.

Hulten used to be an editor at the Lake Stevens Journal, but he hasn’t been on staff for years.

Pam Stevens, the paper’s managing editor and co-publisher, on Thursday she said there had been no discussion with Hulten about working on any story about Hope.

On Friday, Desiree Cahoon, the paper’s publisher and president, sent a lengthy message noting that Hulten is no longer on staff but that he does have Lake Stevens Journal press credentials and that she thinks highly of his abilities. The full message is included in the box at right.

Hulten did not respond to our messages. His boss, Deputy Executive Gary Haakenson, called the Herald newsroom Thursday to ask that Hulten not be contacted about political matters, including questions for this story, during working hours.

The deputy executive said he has no plans to examine more closely whether Hulten engaged in any campaign activity using county resources.

“Everything that I have heard from you, or read in the paper, it appears he has done on his own time,” Haakenson said.

Mike Hope

Hope on Friday shared with the newspaper dozens of pages of documents from his personnel file. The records document a 14-year police career that is more studded with commendation than complaint.The Herald presented Hope with Mill Creek police reports from the 2000 traffic stop, including a memo that was then sent to his bosses in Seattle, decrying what happened.The memo said the March 20, 2000, stop wasn’t the only time Mill Creek police had encountered Hope as a passenger in a car being driven by somebody who had been drinking. In the earlier incidents, the officer wrote, Hope had asked for “officer discretion” in letting an intoxicated friend go.

“I told Hope that this is not the first time that this has happened with him and that he and his friends have received more (than) their fair share of breaks,” a Mill Creek officer wrote in 2000.

Hope on Friday said that Seattle police investigated his misbehavior, held him accountable for what he did and he hasn’t repeated the errors.

He said that as county executive, he’d establish a similar system to identify misdeeds and hold people in government accountable.

“It was stupid. It was a dumb mistake,” he said.

We’ve opted not to post Hope’s entire personnel file. What we’ve been given are his work records, and the amount of news value isn’t equal to the time and energy required to make them Web ready. If Hope wants you to read his pay history, details of the training he’s received or letters of thanks from people he’s met on the job, that’s his call.

The portion of Hope’s file most relevant to this controversy can be found in the box to the right as part of the records received from Mill Creek police.

The thing about all of this is that this Kevin Hulten is a real piece of work, & in hiring him the administration he represents has made themselves vulnerable. This guy is an expert at smear campaigns himself, & that is possibly why the Herald is attacking him with such ferocity. It would seem where there is a smear campaign you will find my Hulten in the center of it or instigating it, but… You have to give credit where credit is due. I’m not saying give the guy a Medal but I am saying if you have a skeleton in your little closet & don’t disclose it this guy will find it & capitalize on it like there is no tomorrow which is exactly what guys like this are hired for & paid to do. Please be sure to visit the actual news story so you can see the comments which will give you far more information. Now in the interest of fairness here is Reardon’s page explaining the details of what happened & of course Mr Hope’s entire record which the Herald claimed would be too long & unduly burdensome to upload to give to us.

Mike Hope suspended for abusing authority, conduct unbecoming an officer

Posted on Oct 6, 2011

Mike Hope suspended for abusing authority, conduct unbecoming an officer

Never before released public records reveal details of Mike Hope flaunting the law, abusing authority and conduct unbecoming an officer.

On at least two occasions Mike Hope abused his status as a Seattle Police Officer to get his friends out of DUI arrests while he was a passenger in the vehicle. Finally, on Hope’s third time trying to use his badge as a get out of jail free card, local officers stood up to Hope and his friends.

When local police in Mill Creek wouldn’t give Hope’s drunk girlfriend a free pass from DUI as a “professional courtesy,” Hope became irate and launched into a 90 minute tirade filled with threats and expletives aimed at the officers and their families.

He even threatened that the officer “had better not expect a back if he is in Seattle,” and if the officer’s “wife comes to Seattle and needs help, she may not get any.” The threat was seen as credible, and egregious enough, that it prompted a detailed complaint from one of the officers and findings against Hope.

Related Records: (WARNING: documents contain explicit language)

  • Document 1: Letter from officer at the scene describing Hope’s behavior
  • Document 2: Discipline records from Mike Hope’s personnel file
  • Document 3: Police report and account of arresting officer

Hope was ultimately suspended by the Seattle Police Department for misuse of authority and conduct unbecoming an officer.  Hope was confronted with his actions by the Seattle Times on September 29, 2011.  Hope’s response: “I don’t think it was a big deal.  I don’t think it’s a big deal now, either.”

What’s more, Hope admitted that while on duty, he lets fellow police officers get away with driving drunk “all the time,” as a “professional courtesy.”

Getting friends off for drunk driving by showing your badge.  Abusing authority to demand special favors. Threatening officers. One set of rules for us, and another for you and your friends.  These things are a big deal.  They show the character of Mike Hope, his willingness to abuse his authority, and why we can’t trust him to be county executive.

What happened that night?

After closing down a local bar at nearly 2 a.m. on a Sunday night, Mike Hope and two friends jumped into their rental car and sped toward home drunk and possibly high (a marijuana pipe was found between Hope and the driver).

Reports detail that Hope and his friends were driving 50 mph on 164th Street in Mill Creek, well over the posted speed limit of 35.  After being pulled over, the officer noted the smell of alcohol coming from the vehicle and asked the driver, Hope’s girlfriend, if she had been drinking.  That’s when Hope jumped in and lied to the officer, telling him that it was he and the other passenger, not the driver, who had been drinking.  The officer ignored Hope and began testing the woman for DUI.

Hope then called another officer over to the vehicle and identified himself as a Seattle Police Officer, even showing his badge and commission card as proof.  That’s when things started to get really ugly.

Give me a break… and another… and another

From the officer’s record of the traffic stop:

I then asked what he wanted.  HOPE asked that as a courtesy we give his girlfriend a break and let her go…

I then recognized HOPE as an officer that I had met before in the same circumstance. Officer Dawson had stopped a vehicle containing HOPE and the driver, who was a Seattle Fireman. This same fireman was seated in the back seat behind HOPE. Officer Dawson as a courtesy escorted both HOPE and the Seattle fireman home on the night of that stop. Officer Reidt also advised me that he had encountered Officer HOPE in the same circumstance once before where again Hope was the passenger of a driver that was intoxicated and requested officer discretion on letting his friend go.

I told HOPE that this is not the first time that this has happened with him and that he and his friends have received more than their fair share of breaks… 

HOPE then stated that it was his girlfriend and that I could use my influence to have her released. I advised HOPE that was not possible. HOPE became agitated and stated that this was bulls**t as all police officers can give breaks…

HOPE again started to pop off about how officers give breaks all that time and that he himself gives breaks all the time to officers. I advised HOPE that I have been a police officer for 19 years and I am well aware of professional courtesy and what is entailed and that I was no longer going to discuss it with him. HOPE then said, “f**k you, you small town cop.”

A 90 minute tirade of threats and obscenities

Hope continued to cuss at the officers as they tried to do their jobs and prevent his drunk girlfriend from hurting herself or others by driving while intoxicated.  After exiting the car, Hope “started in to a tirade about ‘f**king small town cops’ and that we were a bunch of ‘a**holes.’”

As Hope and his friend finally walked away toward Hope’s apartment, the officers report that Hope continued to yell at them from some 50 yards away.

Hope even followed the officers back to the station at nearly 3 a.m., continuing to yell and demand special treatment.  Hope even threatened the officers.

“While standing by for the tow truck, I was advised by a Snohomish County Deputy that HOPE and the other male passenger were standing at the front door of the Police Department. As I drove by I noticed that HOPE was on the phone.

I parked the car and contacted Officer Reidt who advised me that he had just gotten off the phone with HOPE and that he was still on a tirade about his girlfriend not being released.”

Hope’s personnel file adds that when Hope’s demands were not met, “you [Hope] told the officer he was making a big mistake and commented that you hoped the officer did not come to Seattle or need help or a back up.”

The threats issued by Hope that night were seen as credible by the officers at the scene who legitimately feared retaliation.  Officer Harris noted in his cover letter to the Seattle Police Department that “Officer HOPE told Officer Reidt that he had better not expect a back if he is in Seattle or that if Officer Reidt’s wife comes to Seattle and needs help, she may not get any.  The only reason that I am mentioning this part is that my family and I do live in Seattle. If I am the recipient of any undue extra special attention I will be greatly upset.”

“Well beyond officer professionalism and conduct”

The Officers at the scene did not take lightly turning in Hope, a fellow officer, for his egregious conduct.  Officer Harris summed up his feelings in the final paragraph of his cover letter to the Seattle Police Department.  ”In my 19 years involved in law enforcement from the military, federal, and civilian service,” Officer Harris said, “I have have never felt compelled to file a complaint on a fellow officer, but officer Hope’s actions went well beyond officer professionalism and conduct.”

Officers Harris and Reidt showed great courage in pushing back against a corrupt and hotheaded member of the force. Unlike Hope, the officers involved and now those who are concerned about their county government do think his actions are a big deal. Hope violated the public trust and put himself above the safety of others in our community. His actions speak to his character and show compellingly why he cannot be trusted in public office.

Threats and initimidation

Threats and intimidation are still the tools of the trade for Mike Hope.  When requests were initially made into Hope’s misconduct, he and his campaign retaliated against the person requesting public records by posting his personal information on the internet, signing him up for dozens of email newsletters and general harassment.  At the time, Hope claimed the requests were being made by “enemies in the Police Department” or others to excuse posting the individuals personal information. Things were no different when Hope ran for his current position. In 2008, Hope was embroiled in a heated controversy when he showed up at a Democratic Committee Officer’s home and got in her face over her participation in a campaign commercial for his opponent. Hope’s actions and his claim that all of this is “no big deal” show that Hope is out of touch… and out of control.

So who the hell do we vote for??? My first instinct would be to go with the cop, but now he doesn’t sound like much of a stand up guy, as a matter of fact he sounds like a bully & someone who will use his position of authority to abuse it’s power, but voting for Reardon just because the Herald hates him so much is not really a wise political choice either. I do have to say since Reardon seems to rub so many people the wrong way he would be my first choice because he is the proverbial “Squeaky Wheel” hell maybe I could even teach him a few ways to piss people off, I am damn good at it even when I don’t mean to be (((sigh)))

I say until Mike Hope comes clean & Reardon’s camp stops with the CRAP already, we need to withhold our votes. Like I’ve said before: “Sometimes not making a decision IS the decision”

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About Brandia

I am an animals rescuer, a mother, a grandmother, a minister, & a human being who is tired of all the corruption going on in our state.

Discussion

3 thoughts on “WTH??? So our elections are now bashing campaigns?

  1. Well it seems that the Herald Reporters are responding to my blog across the internet lines. I had to laugh when I read this one!

    http://www.heraldnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111013/BLOG48/710139964/0/NEWS05&omniture=0

    It seems that there are others who see things for what they are. I noticed once I called Scott North on his editorial versions of the news they brought in Noah Haglund to write with him to “look” impartial, I mean if TWO guys are saying the same thing then it must be true! Right? (((Wink-Wink)))

    Like

    Posted by finallyhomerescue | October 15, 2011, 1:40 am
  2. So… I got a very long, & detailed message from Scott North about the story & their goals in posting them. It answered a lot of my questions, & gave me much more clarity. I forgot to ask him if I could post parts of it though.

    I still don’t have any answers about this bleeping campaign but my faith in my reporter has been restored.

    THE DEADLINE TO FILE AS A WRITE IN CANDIDATE IS NOVEMBER7TH!!! ANY TAKERS????

    Like

    Posted by finallyhomerescue | October 15, 2011, 1:36 pm

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