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State Auditor Faces Washington Attorney General Investigation

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Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has launched a criminal investigation into state auditor Troy Kelley. Kelley is already under a federal indictment for tax evasion and fraudulent practices related to his former real estate business.

Now, the state is looking into his hiring practices in the auditor’s office.  The state is investigating Kelley's hiring and employment of Jason JeRue, a long time business associate.

“Obviously, I do not know whether this investigation will result in any legal action. I do know, however, that this inquiry will serve the public interest, especially when there are questions about an agency charged with upholding public integrity,” Ferguson said at a news conference.

Auditor Kelley isn’t actually on the job . He’s on unpaid leave pending the outcome of the federal charges.

Since the beginning of Kelley’s legal troubles, there have been questions about his hiring of Jason JeRue, who was fired after Kelley went on unpaid leave. JeRue reportedly worked part time for the auditor’s office from California.

Paula reports on groundbreaking legal decisions in Washington State and on trends in crime and law enforcement. She’s been at KNKX since 1989 and has covered the Law and Justice beat for the past 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.