- Associated Press - Thursday, March 26, 2015

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The chairman of the Senate Accountability and Reform Committee on Thursday asked state Auditor Troy Kelley to appear before his panel next week to talk about a federal investigation related to Kelley.

Republican Sen. Mark Miloscia of Federal Way wrote that reports of the investigation raise questions about Kelley’s ability to carry out his job, and that his refusal to publicly address the issue has done little to ease the concerns.

“It is important for you to address these matters personally, in public testimony,” Miloscia wrote, adding that he wants Kelley to appear at the committee’s scheduled meeting Wednesday.

Federal agents have searched the Tacoma home of Kelley, a Democrat, and tax-fraud investigators have sought records related to one of his previous businesses.

A federal grand jury subpoena demanded the auditor’s office turn over information about Jason Jerue, a part-time employee who previously worked in private business with Kelley. Efforts to reach Jerue by phone have been unsuccessful.

Kelley has not appeared in public to answer questions about the investigation. But he has issued written statements saying he is baffled by the investigation, and that all of his past actions have been lawful and appropriate.

The auditor’s office’s chief of staff, Doug Cochran, said they received the invitation, and that Kelley has not yet decided whether to attend.

The governor, lawmakers and state Democratic Party have called on Kelley to be more forthcoming.

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