Indicted state Auditor Troy Kelley has ignored past calls to resign from all four partisan caucuses of the Legislature, but lawmakers are trying again.
The two Republican and two Democratic caucuses sent him a joint letter Wednesday that Auburn Sen. Joe Fain posted on Facebook.
The letter cites this month’s federal indictment that charged Kelley with eight new felonies, including money laundering and tax evasion, as part of the reason he should resign immediately. Those charges are in addition to nine felony charges Kelley is fighting from his initial indictment in April.
Kelley, who was elected auditor in 2012, pleaded not guilty on all counts.
The letter from legislative leaders Wednesday said that while the the federal charges relate to activity outside Kelley’s official duties as auditor, the Tacoma Democrat should resign partly because he has been unable to perform his elected duties since beginning an unpaid leave of absence in May.
“It is hard to imagine that you are able to perform any services to the state while on this leave of absence, let alone fulfill the duties of such an important elected office,” the letter reads.
The letter urging Kelley to resign was signed by House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle; House Minority Leader Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish; Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville; and Senate Minority Leader Sharon Nelson, D-Maury Island.
Kelley’s attorney, Angelo Calfo, emailed a statement Wednesday saying Kelley would not resign, and that Kelley’s trial will show that federal prosecutors’ allegations against him “are completely misguided.”
“Federal prosecutors shouldn’t have the power to remove a public official from office simply by accusing them of a crime,” Calfo said in the emailed statement. “That is why Troy Kelley should not and will not resign.”
The charges against Kelley stem from his previous business tracking real estate title documents. Authorities allege that between 2006 and 2008, Kelley failed to refund title companies and their customers nearly $3 million above and beyond what was owed. Kelley was a member of the state House during much of that time.
Federal prosecutors also allege Kelley evaded about $1 million in taxes during those years by underreporting his income.