Gov. Inslee Releases Statement about State Auditor’s Investigation
When your state auditor has their home searched by Treasury Agents while the official is on vacation, and a subsequent subpoena is issued for documents, it gets peoples attention. But some reporters have found possible backround evidence as to why the feds are snooping around.
Gov. Jay Inslee released the following statement Friday about Auditor Troy Kelley's recent dealings with the federal government:
“The governor is very concerned about the apparent federal investigation involving the state auditor. We hope that the auditor will work with authorities and to the greatest extent possible – and as soon as possible -- be open with the public. The voters, local governments, lawmakers and our administration need to have complete confidence in Mr. Kelley’s ability to carry out the very important duties of state auditor. The auditor should recuse himself from any official action involving this investigation. Washingtonians need to be assured that the auditor’s office will be able to continue its work without distraction or disruption by this investigation.”
Ironic that Inslee pledges openness, as his administration hasn't been the cleanest window in politics. But that's for another discussion.
But as some reporters take the time to dig into Kelley's backround, they're finding more and more interesting financial information that was largely swept under the rug when the former Democratic State Representative ran for office, then was named Auditor.
According to ShiftWA, Kelley was in hot water during his legislative campaign, and his GOP opponent tried to call attention to a number of fishy-looking financial deals that involved moving lots of money around to banks across the country. Several million of it ended up overseas in Belize, where it's protected from U.S. tax laws.
According to ShiftWA:
“Before being elected auditor in 2012, Kelley had been accused in a lawsuit of shady business dealings and tax evasion…
“In 2010, a federal lawsuit accused an escrow-services business owned by Kelley of “fraudulently transferring funds, intentional spoliation of evidence, shady business schemes, tax evasion, and hiding from creditors” nearly $3.8 million."
Now, in fairness, there is no evidence of any wrongdoing at the state level by the Auditor. Most reports indicate he's had a very quiet term since taking office in 2013. But his opponent in the earlier legislative race, James Watkins, made public allegations about Kelley's financial backround. From ShiftWA:
"In 2012, Republican James Watkins publically alleged that his Democrat opponent (then-state Rep. Troy Kelley) had been involved in misappropriation of $3.8 million from mortgage borrowers, money laundering, tax evasion, and even burglary."
ShiftWa says Kelley's steadfast denials of the accusations may have been enough for the left-leaning voters in the West side, but apparently hasn't satisfied federal investigators.
The U.S. Justice Department has been quiet on the issue so far, but most experts say Kelley's "paper" trail is most certainly why they raided his home, and demanded he hand over a lot of personal documents.