Former state Auditor Troy Kelley has court approval to travel to South Korea next week as a member of the Washington National Guard, as he awaits retrial on money laundering, tax fraud and other charges.
Kelley is a lieutenant colonel and lawyer in the National Guard and usually has an annual temporary assignment to South Korea.
The two-week trip didn’t happen in 2015 after Kelley was indicted. Washington National Guard spokeswomen Karina Shagren said Kelley didn’t go in 2016, either.
This year he’s scheduled to leave Tuesday for Osan Air Base, and to return Feb. 14, according to the order U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton signed Wednesday to approve the deployment.
Shagren said official travel orders haven’t been issued yet for this year’s trip, but that’s not to suggest it will be canceled. Such orders usually come a few days beforehand.
“There’s no reason to believe the travel won’t happen,” she said.
Kelley, a former state House member from Tacoma, won election to the Auditor’s Office in 2012. His term ended this month, following former Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy’s election to the post.
The jury in Kelley’s initial trial found him not guilty in April of lying to the IRS, but it couldn’t agree on a verdict for other charges. Those charges included accusations that he evaded taxes, lied under oath and stole $3 million that should have gone to homeowners as part of the real-estate services business he operated in the mid-2000s.
Prosecutors argue Kelley kept fees that should have been refunded to homeowners. He has argued he was entitled to do that in exchange for his work.
The retrial on the charges the jury couldn’t decide on is scheduled for March.