Washington Auditor Troy Kelley, whose criminal trial starts March 14, won’t face a recall election.
The state Supreme Court upheld a Pierce County judge’s decision blocking a citizen-led recall attempt.
The high court ruled unanimously that the recall petition written by Will Knedlik, a former state lawmaker from Kirkland, failed to include facts supporting its accusations.
The petition avoids Kelley’s alleged crimes and instead focuses on accusations that Kelley improperly hired a former business associate at the auditor’s office and that he failed to do enough to investigate Sound Transit. Knedlik, a disbarred lawyer, is a longtime critic of the transit agency.
The petition also charges Kelley with failing to live in Olympia as required by the state constitution.
Kelley lives in Tacoma and doesn’t claim otherwise. But Justice Charles Wiggins wrote that the petition lacks evidence that he doesn’t also have a home in Olympia.
Kelley has strongly maintained his innocence in the face of federal felony charges including keeping stolen money, money laundering and tax fraud. But he has said it’s unlikely he’ll run for re-election this year, and two fellow Democrats along with a Republican are running for auditor.