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Northwest News Network

Gov. Inslee Urges Indicted State Auditor To Resign

Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley in a photo his office posted to social media January 16, 2015.
Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley in a photo his office posted to social media January 16, 2015.

On Thursday morning, embattled Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley called Democratic Governor Jay Inslee -- right around the time the U.S. Attorney’s office for Western Washington announced Kelley’s indictment.

A federal grand jury indicted Kelley on charges of filing false tax returns, making false statements, obstruction and theft.

Inslee later told reporters that he urged Kelley to "resign immediately."

"These things can drag on for years at times,” Inslee said. “Recognizing that, we have to have an auditor. We have to have an auditor with the full confidence of the people. Those conditions do not exist right now.”

Inslee said Kelley replied that he would not resign, but rather take a leave of absence starting in May.

The governor can only appoint a replacement for Kelley if there is a vacancy, which a leave of absence does not create.

If convicted, Kelley could face decades in federal prison.

Copyright 2015 Northwest News Network