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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."

Scant Paper Trail Follows Kelley Out Of Auditor's Office

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network
Jan Jutte is a 30-year veteran of the Washington state auditor's office. She will take over while indicted Auditor Troy Kelley is on an indefinite leave of absence.

Jan Jutte, a longtime manager in the Washington state auditor’s office, will take over for elected auditor Troy Kelley as he defends himself against a federal indictment.

Jutte was supposed to retire this week after more than three decades in the Washington state auditor’s office. Instead, she’s taking over for her indicted boss.

“I have worked under three state auditors,” Jutte said. “You know, I’ve never seen anything like this so I’m finding my way too.”

Jutte won’t have the title of state auditor, but she said she will have all of the responsibilities and powers. Her main message: the state auditor’s office will continue to function even without the elected auditor.

The situation is so unprecedented she was caught off guard when a reporter asked if Kelley’s work email will be disabled.

“I had not thought about that question until you just brought it up,” she said.

Her ultimate answer: his email will be shut down. Not that Kelley uses that account much. Public records reveal he’s an auditor who doesn’t leave much of an audit trail.

Jutte said she hardly ever emailed her boss.

“If I did, it was very rare,” she said. “It just wasn’t how he communicated.”

Jutte said Kelley prefers to communicate by phone. But his cell phone records aren’t public because he used his own phone instead of one owned by the state. Kelley’s office said staff checked his phone for work-related texts and found none.

When asked about her boss’ indictment, Jutte answered, “innocent until proven guilty.”

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."