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Candidate for Washington auditor once accused of theft

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Democratic candidate for state auditor was once accused in court files of stealing artwork from the offices of a company where he worked.

That allegation was one of several questionable details raised Thursday about state Rep. Troy Kelley. Campaign workers for his Republican opponent uncovered many of the court documents and posted them online.

In the 2001 court case, Kelley sued The First American Corporation for wrongful termination and defamation. He complained that one company official had told other managers that he was stealing and embezzling from the company.

The company later submitted surveillance footage of a man taking a painting from the company's offices. The company claimed it was Kelley, though Kelly said he wasn't in the area that day. Shortly after the submission of footage, Kelley dismissed his lawsuit.

Kelley did not immediately return a call seeking comment Thursday.

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