After 16 months of controversy, the seemingly inexhaustible self-immolation of Tenino mayor Eric Strawn will soon be over.
From The Tacoma News Tribune:
After serving for 16 contentious months, Tenino mayor Eric Strawn said he will formally announce Friday that he’s resigning from the city’s top post.
“My plans are I will resign as mayor (effective) on May 31 at midnight,” he said in a telephone interview with The Olympian. …
“Some people are disappointed, and some people are excited,” he said. “Some people are of the belief that a single person can destroy a city. It takes a collective to build and tear down. I’m going to put my citizens before myself.”
Though a good portion of Strawn’s scandals came by way of his mayoral acts (only state Rep. Roger Goodman was a more visible proponent of legal recreational marijuana use), it was an alleged act performed for him that raised ethical concerns and was his most enduring battle, one that began last September when Strawn was accused of conducting intimate constituent relations with a woman in a city-owned vehicle.
Police say they took a report on Monday involving Tenino Mayor Eric Strawn. Strawn admits he used a city car to run a city-related errand and, on his way back, he stopped to have lunch with a female friend. …
Strawn, who recently separated from his wife, said he was soon approached by police officers. He said the officers told him “they got a report of some oral sexual activity.”
Strawn denies that claim, and believes whoever called the police alleging there was something illicit going on may have had the wrong impression.
Now, seven months after the scandal first broke, Strawn steps aside.
Though Strawn’s delay may seem like an overly drawn-out attempt to hold onto public office, his foot-dragging has nothing on the current marathon scandal-dancing champ, former Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon who was at one time a Democratic favorite to run for governor. Reardon went 15 months before announcing his resignation after evidence surfaced in November 2011 of his use of county funds to buy an “intimacy kit” to accessorize an extramarital affair.
A Washington State Patrol investigation that was eventually dropped also looked into Reardon’s use of a county-owned cell phone to send intimate text messages to the woman, and in at least one case a third partner invited to join in their escapades. Reardon’s tap dance of avoidance also bests Strawn’s in that the outgoing Lothario of Snohomish County delayed just long enough to hand the Democrat-controlled county council full power over appointing a successor rather than giving the voters a say.
For those scoring at home, that’s Democrats and Reardon 1, Snohomish County residents 0.