The state Attorney General’s Office has delivered its summary of the recall charges against indicted state Auditor Troy Kelley to court. But there is still a ways to go before the auditor could be recalled.
OLYMPIA — The state Attorney General’s Office has delivered its summary of the recall charges against indicted state Auditor Troy Kelley to court.
The summary — required by law for a recall petition to move forward — was filed Friday in Pierce County Superior Court and a hearing set for May 8, according to the Attorney General’s Office.
Former state legislator Will Knedlik filed the recall papers in early April. Knedlik, a frequent candidate for public office who in 2012 unsuccessfully attempted to recall then-Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon, made several allegations against Kelley.
Among other things, Knedlik alleges that state and constitutional law require the auditor to reside at the seat of government; Kelley lives in Tacoma. Knedlik also alleges that Kelley “grossly abused his position of public trust” by finding a job for his former business associate, Jason JeRue, in the Auditor’s Office.
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JeRue, who had been named on a subpoena delivered to the Auditor’s Office, was not named in the federal indictment of Kelley returned last week.
Kelley is a Democrat and former state lawmaker who was elected auditor in 2012. Last week, he pleaded not guilty last week to 10 counts of tax charges and lying to investigators, with most allegations related to his former business, Post Closing Department. He has said that he didn’t break the law and is planning a leave of absence from the Auditor’s Office starting May 1.
The Attorney General’s Office this week provided legal guidance on how such a leave would work — including whether Kelley would be paid.
Thomas Shapley, spokesman for the Auditor’s Office, has said that he expects the legal guidance to be released publicly once Kelley waives his attorney-client privilege.
But in an email late Friday morning, Shapley wrote it probably wouldn’t happen Friday.
By law, the Attorney General’s Office must submit to court a summary of the recall charges and request the court to rule whether the recall has sufficient grounds.
To justify a recall, the person demanding it must specify acts of malfeasance, misfeasance, violations of the oath of office, or instances of guilt in two or more acts that would justify recall under the state constitution.
If the court rules the recall can go forward, 715,800 signatures would need to be collected within a 270-day period, according to the state Secretary of State’s Office. That number — which is 25 percent of all the votes cast in the state auditor’s election in 2012 — would need to be submitted six months before the 2016 general election.