Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Former Washington Auditor Says Kelley Should Be Impeached

Washington State Auditor's Office
Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley should be impeached, according to his predecessor, Brian Sonntag.

Washington Speaker of the House Frank Chopp said “now is not the time” to try to impeach indicted State Auditor Troy Kelley and that it would be a distraction.

But former longtime Auditor Brian Sonntag disagrees and said the legislature should move to remove Kelley from office.

“File the articles of impeachment, hold the trial and hold somebody accountable and that’s what we’re missing now,” Sonntag said. “The citizens are getting any kind of accountability, the legislature, the governor, the people of the Auditor’s office aren’t getting it and I think it calls for it.”

Sonntag served five terms as a Democratic state auditor. He believes Kelley has “abandoned” the office by taking indefinite leave.

The bar for impeachment in Washington is high: the office holder must be found to have committed high crimes or misdemeanors, or malfeasance.

Kelley has pleaded not guilty to several federal felonies related to his past business practices. His trial is scheduled for next January.

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."