MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Washington senator calls on auditor Troy Kelley to testify about federal probe

Mar 26, 2015, 2:57 PM | Updated: Mar 27, 2015, 5:19 am

Mark Miloscia is the first Republican elected as Washington state auditor since 1928. (AP)...

Mark Miloscia is the first Republican elected as Washington state auditor since 1928. (AP)

(AP)

The chairman of the Senate Accountability and Reform Committee is calling on state Auditor Troy Kelley to testify about a federal criminal investigation into his business dealings, and explain why the state’s top watchdog hasn’t been more forthcoming.

Republican Senator Mark Miloscia sent a letter to Kelley Thursday, asking him to testify before the committee next week.

Read the letter to Troy Kelley

Kelley refused to comment about about an ongoing federal probe into his previous business dealings. He issued a single statement last week after federal agents searched his home and subpoenaed his office records, saying he was “puzzled” and had done nothing illegal.

A federal grand jury subpoena demanded the auditor’s office turn over information about Jason Jerue, a part-time employee who previously worked in private business with Kelley.

Related: Where is state auditor Troy Kelley?

“We want more than just a press release,” Miloscia said. The former state representative previously ran unsuccessfully against Kelley in the race for the auditor’s office.

“The public and the legislature and even the governor have called for the state auditor to be more forthcoming, so here’s his opportunity.”

Miloscia said Kelley has a duty to assure his office is above any appearance of conflict of interest or unethical behavior.

“Would he have ignored the situation if his chief fraud officer or his chief of staff or one of his auditors were involved in a criminal investigation involving the federal government?” Miloscia asked.

While the letter invites Kelley to appear before the committee next week, lawmakers could take steps to force him to testify. The committee will discuss its options at next week’s meeting – a previously scheduled oversight hearing on DSHS.

Kelley’s office has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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Washington senator calls on auditor Troy Kelley to testify about federal probe