OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Elected officials in Washington state called on Auditor Troy Kelley to step down following his indictment by a federal grand jury on charges of filing false tax returns, attempted obstruction of a civil lawsuit and possession of stolen property:
—Gov. Jay Inslee:
"We have to have an auditor, and we have to have an auditor with the full confidence of the people. Those conditions do not exist right now...He'll have the full presumption of innocence in the criminal system, but right now we have to have an auditor who can actually do the job."
—Attorney General Bob Ferguson:
"The many dedicated career public servants who staff the State Auditor's Office should be able to perform their important work free of the cloud of uncertainty and distraction the Auditor's situation now creates. The sooner that cloud is lifted, the better. That's why I am calling upon Troy Kelley to resign as auditor immediately."
—Democratic House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan:
"The credibility of the office has been called into question. We want to ensure that the state auditor's office has the standing and the credibility that the public expects. Him stepping down would allow for a process, either through an appointment or through a special election, in order for that seat to be filled and the credibility to continue in a way that it should."
—Sen. Mark Miloscia, R-Federal, Way, who as a Democrat ran unsuccessfully against Kelley in the 2012 primary:
"Right now, for the good of the citizens of Washington state, he needs to step down and deal with these indictments...I'd been reluctant to call for his resignation in the past, but now it's gone too far. He cannot be state auditor and run that agency, which depends on having the public's and all the elected officials' confidence."
—Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville:
"I called long ago for Troy Kelley to take a leave of absence. I'm out of patience, as I think most citizens would be, and I think he should do the honorable thing and step aside to restore trust in government."
—Treasurer Jim McIntire:
"I agree with Governor Inslee that Troy Kelley cannot continue in his role as auditor and should resign immediately. I have full confidence in the highly professional staff at the State Auditor's Office who will continue to work to protect the state's financial integrity."
—Sen. Sharon Nelson, D-Maury Island:
"The people of Washington deserve to have their full faith and confidence restored in the Office of the State Auditor. We believe this can and will be achieved by the immediate resignation of Auditor Kelley. Senate Democrats join the governor in calling on Kelley to step aside, and allow an appointee to renew the integrity of this important office."