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State Auditor Troy Kelley found not guilty on one count, state leaders respond

by caprecord

State Auditor Troy Kelley surrounded by media as he leaves the U.S. District Court after pleading not guilty in April 2015. (Photo by Venice Buhain.)

State leaders responded Tuesday to news that State Auditor Troy Kelley was found not guilty by a jury of lying to the Internal Revenue Service. Jurors could not reach an agreement on 14 other felony charges, including stealing money and tax evasion.

Gov. Jay Inslee said he’s waiting to see what prosecutors do next.

“Regardless of the outcome in court today, serious questions remain about Troy Kelley’s ability to successfully fulfill his role as state auditor,” Inslee said.

The governor and several state leaders have previously called on Kelley to resign.

Kelley took an unpaid leave of absence for seven months last year while facing federal charges. He returned to work in December after four legislators signaled their intent to begin impeachment proceedings against Kelley during the 2016 session.

Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler said Kelley should “do the right thing and resign” despite the verdict.

“The jury has made its decision, but the public trust has been violated. The elected office of state auditor has been sullied by Mr. Kelley’s trial,” Schoesler said.