It only took 15 minutes for the Chelan County Elections Canvassing Board to decide to oust Chelan County Assessor Vicki Trudell from office yesterday.
The board made up of Chelan County Auditor Skip Moore, County Commissioner Doug England and Prosecuting Attorney Gary Riesen unanimously ruled that she is not a Chelan County resident. Elected officials are required by state law to reside in the jurisdiction in which they were elected.
Trudell’s residency was called into question this winter. She readily admitted that she had been staying at her husband’s residence in East Wenatchee, but that they had been looking for a house in Chelan County. Griffin married John Trudell a month after she was elected to the Chelan County position.
She maintained that she was still a Chelan County resident because most of her belongings were at the Wenatchee apartment. But when asked where she actually lived Trudell said she sleeps in East Wenatchee.
Riesen said this was the first time he could recall in his 26 years in office that the canvassing board was called to hear one resident challenge the residency of another.
Trudell didn’t comment on the ruling, but handed out a prepared statement saying she was saddened by the decision. She does not plan to appeal. In her statement, Trudell said it was her intention to find a home in Chelan County, but they were not in a position to simply sell or rent one house and move to another. The statement went on to thank her staff in the assessor’s office. “Whoever is appointed to replace me is fortunate indeed to have this group of employees to support them.”