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Update: Questions Arise Over Woodinville City Councilmember's Residency Status

"It's been brought to my attention that Councilmember Scott Hageman no longer lives in the city of Woodinville and therefore is no longer qualified to be a councilmember," Woodinville Mayor Bernie Talmas said.

Update Friday, Feb. 22, 9 a.m.: Woodinville resident Dale Knapinski has delivered a letter to city staffers challenging Woodinville City Councilmember Scott Hageman's Woodinville residency. Last week, City Attorney Greg Rubestello said a challenge would have to come from a resident or prosecutor in order for the city to act.

Original post --

Tuesday's Woodinville City Council meeting started with a question as to whether one councilmember is still qualified to sit on the council.

"It's been brought to my attention that Councilmember Scott Hageman no longer lives in the city of Woodinville and therefore is no longer qualified to be a councilmember," Woodinville Mayor Bernie Talmas said.

Talmas said he had information saying Hageman purchased a home in Kirkland several months ago and that a renter is living in the home he still owns off Woodinville-Duvall Road.

When Talmas asked if Hageman would like to comment, Hageman initially replied, "Yes, what can I do for you?"

After a second prompting, Hageman said personal matters within his family, that he would rather not share with the public, have caused his wife and son to move to Kirkland and that while he visits them there, he has leased a place near his home on Woodinville Duvall Road.

"I do not consider myself a resident of Kirkland at this time," Hageman said.

Talmas further said he had information that Hageman was seen at the Kirkland residence late at night and that his name is on the home loan documents that were signed as a primary residence for both he and his wife.

Hageman said although he is still married, the Kirkland home was meant to be for his wife and that the leased place is now is permanent residence.

Woodinville City Attorney Greg Rubestello said a potential problem exists if it is found out a councilmember has been occupying an elected position he is no longer qualified for.

"If a vote is invalidated, it could invalidate actions you (the council) might take, so it's an issue of some concern that needs to get resolved one way or another very quickly, Rubestello said.

The council went into executive session, which is not open to the public, for about 15 minutes to discuss the matter. Hageman returned to the meeting with the council and the meeting proceeded with his participation.

Rubestello said it's not a matter the council can decide. A residency challenge can be made by city resident or county prosecuting attorney.

"This is something (the prosecuting attorney) may want to look at as it involves an elected official," Talmas said.

Click here to watch the council meeting. The discussion on Hageman's residency is at the beginning.

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Lisa Baumann February 22, 2013 at 05:50 PM
Woodinville resident Dale Knapinski has submitted a letter to the city challenging Councilmember Scott Hageman's residency status. Click on the link to read the letter - http://patch.com/A-2jTJ
Gail February 22, 2013 at 06:46 PM
LOL - yes there is "in common with the Reardon situation" - dishonesty. Look it up. Or as Ron stated, "questionable ethics". Some people have no clue what that means though. Instead of looking at trees, look at the forest. Scott tried to hide his real address. Or are we going to argue he's ignorant now?
R Jaffe February 22, 2013 at 07:01 PM
Yes, at the much broader level that goes beyond any of these specific characters you are correct that it is just politics as usual. But to compare Hageman to Reardon is to make a poor comparison.
R Jaffe February 22, 2013 at 07:03 PM
Ms. Gail, as a grizzled veteran of the usenet wars, I have learned when not to bother arguing. I will allow our common readers to judge are respective opinions.
Gail February 22, 2013 at 11:54 PM
How does 'grizzled veteran' explain anything? Any 'grizzled veteran' would know better than to post that :) Btw, you ARE arguing (trying to rationalize). Please explain how anything I said is incorrect? I Scott being honest? Did he follow the Law? Was he forthright in his duty to disclose his resident address changes? Scot "Gee, I didn't know I had to update my registered address. Gosh, I'm just a plain ole country council member. Don't know nothin about that sort of thing." Yup, let our common readers judge the ethics of Scott. I'm all for that smell test.

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