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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Attorney: Troy Kelley Knew Of Federal Inquiry Nearly Two Years Ago

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Washington Legislature
Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley

An attorney who once sued Troy Kelley says the Washington State Auditor has known about a federal probe into his past for nearly two years.

Scott Smith said in April of 2013 a federal grand jury subpoenaed all records related to a lawsuit he had filed against Kelley, a Democrat, and his former business. Smith said he notified Kelley because the settlement of that lawsuit had been confidential.

So he wrote to Kelley and didn’t hear back at first.

“My secretary called the auditor’s office where he was working and said ‘we want to confirm that Mr. Kelley has received our letter,” Smith said.

Smith said word came back that he had. That was almost two years ago.

Should Kelley have let the public know at that point that he might be under federal scrutiny?

“Some might argue he has a moral obligation,” said Mike McKay, a former U.S. Attorney who now does defense work. “I’m not sure if I do because it’s up to the government to prove its case.”

Kelley did not return a phone call seeking comment. His home was searched by federal agents this month. He has not been charged with any crime.

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Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins collaborated with the Olympian and News Tribune newspapers on this report.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."