Evidently Jay Inslee, or the taxpayer-funded staff he pays to send out political tweets during their “working” day, consider it a profile in courage for him to finally call on his fellow Democrat, State Auditor Troy Kelley, to resign after he was indicted on federal criminal charges.
The governor’s paid propaganda peddlers must have missed that Inslee had joined Kelley in silence about his sleaze – even challenging a reporter on Wednesday to “step outside into the alleyway” when he was questioned about his lack of action on getting Kelley to come clean.
Instead, one of Inslee’s media minions, Jaime Smith, took to Twitter to attack Shift, and suggest we should be calling on other GOP leaders “stand with” Inslee now that the slow-moving governor had joined State Republican Chair Susan Hutchison and the Seattle Times in calling for Kelley to step aside.
Perhaps if Ms. Smith spent more time during the working day paying attention to what was actually going on in the media—which is the job taxpayers are funding [allegedly] —and less time on her personal and political tweets, she would recognize that her boss is not leading the way in this scandal. Rather, Republicans and some in the media are pulling him toward doing the right thing.
One person who is not changing his tune, and cannot seem to be pulled to do the right thin is the man of the hour, Kelley himself. Yesterday, Kelley stood before a U.S. magistrate judge and pleaded not guilty to 10 felony charges that, if convicted, could send him to prison for up to 20 years. Kelley then—after weeks of refusing to answer media inquiries—made a statement to reporters at a downtown Tacoma hotel. Kelley claimed he was victim of a federal witch-hunt and expressed confidence that he would be able to prove his innocence.
Interestingly enough, Kelley chose to use the following wording to declare his innocence: “I want to be extremely clear here, I never ever thought I was breaking the law.” The key wording being “thought.” One would hope an experienced lawyer and elected State Auditor would understand the law—particularly tax law—well enough to know when he was breaking it.
According to the Seattle Times, the federal investigation into Kelley has been going on for several years. Reporters asked Kelley’s attorneys why he would run for elective office knowing about it. The Seattle Times,
“His other attorney, Mark Bartlett, a former senior prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle, said the very fact that Kelley did seek office proves the defense’s proposition that Kelley believed everything he had done was above board.”
Federal prosecutors, on the other hand, offered a very different picture of Kelley. The Seattle Times,
“Federal authorities say Kelley was anything but honest in his business dealings.
“Kelley “spun a web of lies in an effort to avoid paying his taxes and keep more than a million dollars that he knew did not belong to him, but instead should have been returned to thousands of homeowners across this state,” Acting U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes said in a statement.”
As Shift reported, Kelley said he would take a leave of absence beginning May 1st rather than resign. Kelley’s trial is scheduled for June 8th. During his leave of absence, Kelley will continue to collect his taxpayer-funded paycheck. He receives an annual salary of $116,950. The question remains of whether or not Democrats will join Republicans’ call for Kelley’s immediate resignation, or allow Kelley’s “leave of absence” to extend until after the candidate filing deadline of May 11th.
Photo via the Columbian.