The state auditor’s office has wrapped up its investigation of Sumner City Council member Matt Richardson without taking any action against him.
A quick refresher here, since this wasn’t one of the more prominent of the accusations that swirled around Richardson during his unsuccessful challenge of state Sen. Pam Roach. An ally and former aide to Roach, Chris Clifford, complained about Richardson’s use of his Sumner city e-mail account to send personal messages to a city volunteer.
Auditor Brian Sonntag’s office sent a letter to Clifford Tuesday saying that while Richardson made personal use of the e-mail system, it’s unclear whether he broke city policy doing it.
That’s because Sumner has one policy that bans the use of city equipment for personal business, and another policy that allows it, as long as the use is incidental.
The auditor’s office recommended the city clarify its policies.
Public records show about three dozen e-mails sent from Richardson to the volunteer in May and June 2008. Richardson asks her in the e-mails to write in code when they discuss personal topics. Richardson says codes, sexual references and flirtatious teasing in the messages are merely jokes.
The July 27 complaint also accuses Richardson of misusing his office to influence the sale of property in his neighborhood. Investigators “found no evidence that Council Member Richardson has swayed zoning changes or the sale of specific parcels of real property,” according to the letter from Audit Manager Mark Rapozo.