Reps. MacEwen and Stokesbary file resolution to begin drafting articles of impeachment against Troy Kelley

State representatives Drew MacEwen, R-Union, and Drew Stokesbary, R-Auburn, filed a resolution that would begin the process of impeaching Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley. The resolution establishes a committee to draft articles of impeachment relating to Kelley's malfeasance in office. The resolution charges include, but are not limited to: the abandonment of his office, improper delegation of the powers and duties of his office to an unelected official, failure to perform the duties of his office, and the willful neglect of the duties of his office.

Kelley was indicted by a federal grand jury last month on 10 felony charges. He declared a leave of absence on May 4 and delegated authority to Jan Jutte, an unelected employee of the State Auditor's Office, with no set return date.

“This is a sad day in the history of Washington state. Through his actions, Troy Kelley has put his own self interests ahead of the citizens of Washington,” said MacEwen. “Delegating the operations of the State Auditor's Office to an unelected official is unacceptable and not up to the standard of the office he swore an oath to lead. This is not a reflection on Ms. Jutte or her service to the state, it is an indictment of Troy Kelley willfully neglecting his duty. Kelley continues to ignore requests to resign from his own party leadership, including Governor Inslee, and he has left us no other choice but to act to restore accountability to the State Auditor's Office.”

Stokesbary joined MacEwen in introducing the resolution and is concerned by Kelley's indefinite absence. He failed to respond to a letter from Stokesbary asking when he would return from his leave of absence.

“By delegating the entirety of his authority to an unelected employee of the State Auditor's Office, for indefinite duration, Troy Kelley has violated his oath of office and constitutional duty. He has not heeded the unanimous calls for his resignation, so the only alternative is for the Legislature to exercise its constitutional responsibility to remove him from office,” Stokesbary said. “Kelley's job was to hold government agencies accountable; he cannot avoid accountability for his malfeasance by simply passing the buck. He has doubled down on his blatant attempt to run out the clock. Establishing a committee to draft articles of impeachment is the first step toward restoring the public trust in the State Auditor's Office.”

Article V of the state constitution outlines the authority and procedure for impeachment. A constitutional majority, or 50 votes, is required to send the articles of impeachment to the state Senate where a trial would be conducted. A two-thirds majority vote by the Senate is required for removal from office.

The impeachment committee would consist of six members of the House of Representatives, made up of three members from each caucus, with the Speaker appointing the members from the majority caucus and the Minority Leader appointing the members from the minority caucus.

The committee would then have to present the articles of impeachment to the House of Representatives.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov