State Auditor Troy Kelley said the federal investigations surrounding him and an employee of the office aren’t hurting the work of the Auditor’s Office.

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OLYMPIA — Responding to queries from Gov. Jay Inslee, State Auditor Troy Kelley said Wednesday the federal investigations surrounding him and an auditor employee aren’t hurting the work of the Auditor’s Office.

In a letter to the governor, Kelley answered several questions that Inslee’s office delivered to the Auditor’s Office on Tuesday evening.

“While the intense media coverage may have been a distraction,” Kelley wrote, “there is no change or impact on our audit and field operations.”

Kelley, a Democrat, also revealed that Jason JeRue, the auditor employee who was the subject of a federal grand-jury subpoena to the office, is on a “requested leave of absence” from his part-time job. Kelley offered no other details of JeRue’s leave.

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JeRue worked previously for Kelley at a business the auditor formerly owned that became the subject of a lawsuit. Public records released Tuesday to The Seattle Times show that within months of taking office in 2013, Kelley worked to find JeRue a job in the Auditor’s Office.

In his Wednesday letter to Inslee, Kelley also stated that the federal investigation is not affecting any current or pending audits and that he isn’t aware of any conflicts of interest in the office that could affect its performance.

But the intrigue, he conceded, is taking a toll.

“We have anecdotal evidence of public disappointment that I am not able to speak to the media and the public about federal investigators’ search of my home and subpoena for certain documents from our Office,” Kelley wrote.

But, “the public comments we have received are not directed at the Office, our employees, or the excellent work the State Auditor’s Office is doing,” he added.

Inslee’s letter to Kelley asked about the investigation’s effect on the office and whether Kelley, who was elected in 2012, or any auditor employees have conflicts of interest that may affect the office’s operations.

“I want it in writing, and I want to be able to share it with the public,” Inslee said late Wednesday morning at a news conference. “Because confidence in this office is extremely important.”

The governor also asked Kelley for information regarding JeRue, who worked for Kelley at his former business, Post Closing Department. In a 2010 federal lawsuit, Post Closing, which tracked real-estate records, was accused of misappropriating more than $1.2 million in fee refunds due to its customers and seeking to hide $3.8 million from creditors.

As of late Wednesday afternoon, Inslee hadn’t yet reviewed Kelley’s letter, according to Jaime Smith, spokeswoman for the governor.

“We do appreciate the prompt response,” Smith added.

Since it was revealed that federal authorities searched Kelley’s house March 16 and issued a federal grand-jury subpoena to his office in early March, the auditor has said little.

In a statement March 23, Kelley insisted his actions over the years have been lawful, but he has declined to answer questions or address the matter beyond that.

Expense reports from the Auditor’s Office released Wednesday to The Seattle Times show that JeRue — who lives in California and has been working remotely from there — has not claimed any travel expenses.

Kelley claimed expenses for official travel in 2013 and 2014 but has not claimed any expenses since October 2014, according to the records. His expenses consist largely of in-state travel, though the cost of a hotel room was claimed for a June 2013 National State Auditors Association convention in Monterey, Calif.

Despite an invitation, Kelley did not appear earlier Wednesday before a legislative committee hearing convened by his one-time campaign rival to deal with questions surrounding the Auditor’s Office.

Instead, two Auditor’s Office staff members took questions from the Senate Accountability and Reform Committee regarding the auditor’s whereabouts and the office’s performance.

One of the questionswas whether Kelley shows up for work all that often.

“I don’t keep track of his calendar, and I am not typically in the same building he is,” Jan Jutte, director of operations for the Auditor’s Office, told the committee.

“I don’t see him when he comes and goes, necessarily,” she added later. “I have seen him a number of times in the last two weeks.”

The auditor has been in the office all week through Wednesday, Doug Cochran, chief of staff for the Auditor’s Office, told The Seattle Times.

Kelley was called to speak before the committee by Sen. Mark Miloscia, R-Federal Way, the committee chairman who ran against Kelley in the 2012 auditor election.

Miloscia called on Kelley to appear in public or resign.

“Do your duty as a public official and be public or step aside; there’s no third choice,” Miloscia said at the meeting’s start. “We all lose, we all become a national joke, if you stay in hiding in your self-imposed witness-protection program.”

After Miloscia spoke, two Democrats — Sens. Karen Fraser of Olympia and Pramila Jayapal of Seattle — urged the committee not to politicize the issue or do anything that might impede the investigation.

“As much as we all want answers, I believe that the state Legislature’s role at this point should be to step aside and not interfere with the federal investigation,” Jayapal said.

The committee session also reviewed the Legislature’s power of subpoena, which has not been used since 1988. The law surrounding this power isn’t completely clear, though the subject must fall within the scope of the Legislature’s authority and the issue must be related to future legislation, according to a briefing by committee staff.

If those hurdles were cleared, the Senate Accountability and Reform Committee would have to vote to approve a resolution with a statement of purpose for a subpoena, according to the briefing. It would then require a vote of approval by the Senate Rules Committee. A subpoena would need the signature of Lt. Gov. Brad Owen.

Owen’s office Wednesday declined to comment on whether he would sign a subpoena relating to Kelley.