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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."

Indicted Washington Auditor Faces New Call To Resign

All four Washington legislative leaders have signed a letter calling on indicted Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley to immediately resign. The letter was hand delivered to the auditor’s office Wednesday morning.

The letter was signed by Speaker of the House Frank Chopp, Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler as well as the minority leaders of the House and Senate. It noted that a federal grand jury recently handed up a superseding indictment against Kelley with new charges of money laundering.

It reads in part:

While you ultimately may be exonerated, you have been on a leave of absence since April. It is hard to imagine that you are able to perform any services to the state while on this leave of absence, let alone fulfill the duties of such an important elected office. It is reasonable for you to focus your time and energy on your federal case, but it is unreasonable for the public to be without a trustworthy and full- time elected Auditor in the meantime. For all of these reasons, we respectfully ask that you resign your office of State Auditor immediately.

Governor Jay Inslee and others have previously called on Kelley to resign. However, this is the first time all four legislative leaders have signed such a letter.

Through his attorney, Kelley said he will not resign.

Kelley is currently on leave from his office. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and faces a trial in federal court next March.

Kelley’s attorney Angelo Calfo said in a statement that federal prosecutors are misguided in targeting Kelly, and that prosecutors should not have the power to remove someone from office by accusing them of a crime.

Read the full letter below:

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."