- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

SEATTLE (AP) - The Washington State Auditor’s Office said Wednesday its main spokesman is done answering questions that relate solely to the federal investigation of State Auditor Troy Kelley.

The office’s chief of staff, Doug Cochran, emailed The Associated Press to say that spokesman Thomas Shapley has been “overwhelmed with questions related to Troy Kelley, but having nothing to do with the State Auditor’s Office.”

“I am sorry, but I have directed Thomas to only respond to requests for information that relate to our office,” Cochran wrote.

Federal agents searched Kelley’s home in Tacoma last week, and tax fraud investigators have sought records related to one of his old businesses. A federal grand jury issued a subpoena demanding the auditor’s office turn over information about Jason Jerue, a part-time worker who previously worked in private business with Kelley.

Cochran’s email was in response to several questions the AP has repeatedly asked in recent days, including whether Kelley has been notified that he is a target of a grand jury investigation and whether he has testified before or been invited to testify before a grand jury.

Cochran said he would relay one of the AP’s questions - whether any other records have been sought from the auditor’s office in connection with the investigation - to Jan Jutte, the auditor’s director of operations. Jutte called to say that aside from the documents sought in the subpoena, the office has received no relevant requests from any other state or federal agencies.

In a follow-up email, Cochran said he didn’t know whether Kelley had retained a private lawyer and said he understood the frustration of reporters seeking information about the matter.

“Related to transparency, we continue to respond a quickly as possible to all requests for information and records that relate to the office,” he said. “For requests that don’t relate to the office, we just don’t have the information, and it would be inappropriate for the office to act on behalf of Troy in this matter.”

The governor and lawmakers have called on Kelley to be forthcoming. Kelley has not spoken publicly but has issued written statements saying that he is baffled by the investigation, and that all of his past actions have been lawful and appropriate.


Rachel La Corte contributed from Olympia.

Follow Johnson at https://twitter.com/GeneAPseattle

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide