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Revenge time at WA Auditor’s Office

Washington state Auditor Troy Kelley arrives for a federal court hearing, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, in Tacoma, Wash. Kelley was asking a judge to force the Justice Department to return $908,000 that was seized from Kelley after he was charged criminally with possession of more than $1 million in stolen money as well as money laundering. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) WATW104

Washington state Auditor Troy Kelley arrives for a federal court hearing, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, in Tacoma, Wash. Kelley was asking a judge to force the Justice Department to return $908,000 that was seized from Kelley after he was charged criminally with possession of more than $1 million in stolen money as well as money laundering. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) WATW104

Troy Kelley, Washington’s elected state auditor, walked out of court a free man last month. A federal jury acquitted him of 1 charge of “making a false statement.”

But the jury couldn’t agree on 14 other charges, which included theft, money laundering, and tax evasion. While people are presumed innocent until convicted, this isn’t exactly an exoneration, nor a vindication of how Kelley ran his private business before being elected to public office.

Now Kelley has returned to work, and he’s wreaking his revenge on the Auditor’s Office staffers who kept the agency afloat while he took leave of absence to struggle through his legal difficulties. He’s firing people, and he’s doing it ugly.

The governor, using authority explicitly granted him by the state constitution, has demanded an explanation. There’s not much outraged voters can do about it, because Kelley — who resisted demands to resign after being indicted — has decided not to run for re-election, the only graceful thing he’s done so far. I guess we, the public, should be grateful for that.

(Read story here.)

 

 


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