Last week, State Auditor Troy Kelley, who had faced a 17-count federal indictment for a multitude of financial crimes, was acquitted on one count while the jury deadlocked on the remaining counts.
For the past year, I have helped lead the battle to restore public trust in the Auditor’s office. As I told the Auburn-Reporter when news of the federal investigation into Kelley broke last March:
“If he continues to refuse to answer these legitimate questions, then he should step down – not because he is necessarily guilty, but because he has lost the public’s trust in his ability to oversee the very office tasked with maintaining trust in government.”
This has remained my position throughout Kelley’s indictment and trial, and it’s what I told the Associated Press after the trial concluded last week. And today, I was so glad to see the Moscow-Pullman Daily News printed an editorial agreeing with me:
Republican Rep. Drew Stokesbary of Auburn, co-sponsor of a bill to remove Kelley that never made it to the House floor, perhaps said it best.
“My position has never been that Troy Kelley was guilty (or innocent),” he wrote to The Associated Press. “What I have said, and still believe, is that public servants – especially one tasked with rooting out fraud and corruption in state government – should hold themselves to a higher standard than merely not guilty.”
Unfortunately, Troy Kelley is still refusing to step aside of the good of the state. But luckily, his term is expiring soon and Washington voters will get to elect his replacement later this year.