The News Tribune editorial board has called on the 2016 state Legislature to impeach Democrat State Auditor Troy Kelley as the first order of business, if he does not resign before the start of session. The Democrat’s corruption poster boy Kelley faces 17 felony charges ranging from theft to money laundering to tax evasion.
Kelley’s defense is weak, relying on the assumption that the FBI is out to get him. The News Tribune,
“His apple-pie-and-motherhood defense: Innocent until proven guilty. His attorney recently took it a step further: ‘Federal prosecutors shouldn’t have the power to remove a public official from office simply by accusing them of a crime.’
“That suggests that the Justice Department is roaming around the country trying to pick off elected officials at random. In reality, the department has limited resources, and U.S. attorneys rarely prosecute unless they feel there is serious misconduct and enough evidence to prove it. The investigative paperwork relating to this case so far amounts to twice the equivalent of the 32-volume Encyclopedia Britannica.”
The evidence stacked against Kelley does not prove that he is guilty. His guilt will be established when his case goes to trail next week. However, the overwhelming evidence does confirm that the FBI does not have a secret agenda to bring him down. Federal agents are doing their due diligence.
Kelley’s defense also misses the point that he has lost the public’s trust. And, he has damaged the integrity of a state office that requires public trust. His refusal to step down only further harms the integrity of the Office of State Auditor. He must resign. If he does not, the state Legislature must act to impeach him.