It's time for embattled State Auditor Troy Kelley to go, say 29 Democrat legislators in a letter released this afternoon. The lawmakers call on Kelley to "immediately resign your office", citing the State Auditor's "unique mission of auditing how state and public agencies use public resources" and the necessity for Washingtonians to have confidence that their auditor is telling them the facts.
It's hard to trust an auditor to tell anyone the facts when one's personal integrity has been called into question to the degree Kelley's has of late.
Basically, the state auditor protects how all of our tax dollars are spent. He keeps an eye on spending and if things pop up that look shady, he investigates. Except, right now, Kelley isn't doing any of that. He hasn't even been around since leaving for an "indefinite leave of absence" shortly after his personal scandal broke in April
Which is totally appropriate for him as an individual given the disastrous situation he's found himself in. The feds have accused him of stealing $1.4 million from clients of a real estate reconveyance business called Post Closing Department, which he operated from 2003 to 2008. This month, prosecutors presented evidence that his attorney may have advised him on what to do with the stolen money. If that's true, the attorney will become a witness and Kelley will have to find new legal representation in the middle of his complex case. In all, there are 10 charges against Kelley.
"The State Auditor must be beyond reproach and have the trust of the people of Washington," says the aforementioned letter, noting that Kelley's personal shady dealings make him hard to trust, eroding public confidence in the Office of the State Auditor.
"The State Constitution clearly requires an elected official to execute the duties of the State Auditor. Your inability to execute these duties for an indefinite period raises serious constitutional concerns that we strongly believe must be addressed," it letter concludes. Here is the letter: