The case of Troy Kelley—the disgraced Democrat State Auditor who just won’t go away – is a serious and sad one. Kelley faces 17 indictments of criminal activity, the most serious of which carries a 20-year prison sentence. Federal prosecutors allege that he “laundered money and evaded the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) while he was in office.”
And, although the scandal stains the integrity of his office, Kelly has refused to resign. That’s not going to change… unless the state Legislature does something about it.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle lined up to call for Kelley’s resignation, although Democrats like Jay Inslee were a little late to that party for what appeared to be partisan reasons. In September, legislative leaders released a letter reiterating their calls for Kelley’s resignation. That letter was addressed to Kelley and signed by Democrat House Speaker Frank Chopp, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, Democrat Senate Minority Leader Sharon Nelson and Republican House Minority Leader Dan Kristiansen. It stated,
“It is hard to imagine that you are able to perform any services to the state while on this leave of absence, let alone fulfill the duties of such an important elected office… It is reasonable for you to focus your time and energy on your federal case, but it is unreasonable for the public to be without a trustworthy and fulltime elected Auditor in the meantime.”
Kelley’s attorney responded by stating that the disgraced Democrat has “no plans to resign.” And, apparently, he meant it.
The disgraced Democrat returned to office – and the state payroll – after winning a so-called “victory” over the federal government in an initial court case decided late last year.
Just to be clear, this is the same man who faces a federal case against him that centers on allegations that he “failed to refund nearly $3 million in escrow client funds and then schemed to hide the money and avoid paying taxes on it.” Kelley, allegedly, did so by laundering $245,000 via a salary that he paid himself from the stolen funds.
Adding insult to injury, this is the same man who expects the public to believe that he is “puzzled” over the federal investigation. However, as Shift reported, his claim is more than a little difficult to believe based on the timeline of the investigation. The facts reveal Kelley knew of the federal investigation for at least two years before he became “puzzled” about it. Kelley also hired his former business associate and a man at the center of the federal investigation, Jason JeRue, mere months after he assumed office as State Auditor. Concrete evidence exists that he created the unnecessary position for JeRue.
State House Republicans responded to Kelley’s return to work with a statement tat essentially reminded everyone, “A constitutional majority, or 50 votes, is required to send the articles of impeachment to the state Senate where a trial would be conducted. A two-thirds majority vote by the Senate is required for removal from office.” The question remains of whether or not Democrats will support any effort to impeach Kelley—though, given their recent responses, it shouldn’t be too hard (liberals are scrambling to create distance between themselves and the disgraced State Auditor).
Until lawmakers actually do act, the scandal-tainted Kelley will continue to collect his taxpayer-funded paycheck, at an annual salary of $116,950.