Indicted state auditor is ‘very, very confident’ he can prove his innocence
The attorney defending Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley believes the case should never have become a criminal matter.
“The Department of Justice has wasted millions of dollars and thousands of hours [while pursuing the case],” said attorney Mark Bartlett.
Bartlett defended Kelley Thursday afternoon during a press conference, where Kelley told a crowd of reporters he will prove his innocence.
“I never broke the law and never thought I was breaking the law and still don’t to this day,” Kelley said.
A federal grand jury indicted Kelley on filing false tax returns, obstruction and possession of stolen property. The jury returned the indictment Wednesday, and it was unsealed Thursday.
“I am very confident, very confident that I can prove my innocence and I look forward to doing that in a court of law,” Kelley said.
Governor Jay Inslee called for the state auditor to resign not long after Troy Kelley was indicted Thursday.
“He should resign immediately,” Inslee said.
“This indictment today makes it clear to me that Troy Kelley cannot continue as state auditor,” Inslee said.
Kelley released a statement following the indictment, where he voiced his disappointment with the decision.
“I believe the indictment has no merit and want to note that none of the allegations touch on my work as an elected official in any way,” Kelley wrote.
Speculation has been swirling around Kelley, a Democrat elected in 2012, since federal agents searched his home last month. Kelley has insisted he did nothing wrong.
The charges concern a mortgage title services company that Kelley ran between 2003 and 2008.
Acting Seattle U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes said in a news release that Kelley lied in order to avoid paying taxes.
“Mr. 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,” Hayes said.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.