State Auditor Troy Kelley has been called to active duty military service for training in South Korea. His office said he’s on a roughly two-week deployment that started early this week.
The Tacoma Democrat took office as state auditor Jan. 16. A former state lawmaker with a background in the mortgage industry, Kelley has doubled as an Army JAG officer for nearly two decades. He’s now a lieutenant colonel in the National Guard and is frequently called to duty — though only rarely this far away from Olympia.
His spokesman said he believes five previous overseas tours over Kelley’s military career were all to Korea.
Kelley has been overseas since Sunday or Monday, spokesman Matt Miller said. His managers were told about his trip, and presumably many employees knew the boss was gone, but an e-mail didn’t go out to all employees until today. The office did not make a public announcement.
His office said he is in daily contact with his executive team, including a chief budget officer — even as lawmakers negotiate a state budget in the waning days of their 105-day session.
There is no acting auditor, Miller said. ”He doesn’t really micromanage. He steers the ship but it keeps on going. There are 350 (employees).”
Here’s the e-mail that went to employees today. As the memo notes, Kelley is scheduled to meet with auditors in a South Korean province while there. But mostly, if the trip is similar to past ones, it will involve “international law within joint field exercises and on legal assistance to soldiers helping them with tax and family law issues and other legal matters.”
From: Chuck F. Pfeil
Subject: Troy Kelley is on Military Leave
As many of you know, Troy Kelley is a lieutenant colonel and a judge advocate in the reserve component of the military. For the sixth time in 19 years, he received federal orders and is on active duty for training in Korea as part of his reserve military service.
Troy is working on administrative law issues. On his previous trips, he has focused on international law within joint field exercises and on legal assistance to soldiers helping them with tax and family law issues and other legal matters. He will be there for about one more week, and then will return home. Troy is in daily contact with the executive team. While there he is meeting with the Chairman of the Audit Inspection Commission for one of South Korea’s self-governing provinces, who is also scheduled to visit Washington State this summer.