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Government and Politics
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."

Washington State Auditor Says He Will 'Fight Back' On Federal Charges

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network
Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley delivers a statement after pleading not guilty to federal charges of false tax returns and obstruction.

Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley said he will “fight back and clear his name.”

The first-term Democrat pleaded not guilty Thursday to 10 federal felony charges, including tax evasion.

After the arraignment, Kelley faced reporters and cameras in a hotel across from the federal courthouse in Tacoma. Speaking from prepared remarks he said his past business involving the tracking of real estate transactions operated “squarely in line with industry practices” and that he “did not break the law.”

“I am very confident,” he said. “Very confident that I will be able to prove my innocence. I eagerly look forward to doing that in an open court of law.”

Kelley then quickly left out a back door. His attorneys stayed behind to answers questions.

Kelley said he will take a leave of absence as state auditor beginning May 1. He faces calls to resign from Governor Jay Inslee, Attorney General Bob Ferguson and other fellow Democrats.

His trial is tentatively scheduled for June.