Federal Way senator Miloscia announces bid to replace indicted state auditor

State Sen. Mark Miloscia, R-Federal Way, announced Thursday he will run to replace embattled state Auditor Troy Kelley in 2016.

A federal grand jury handed down a 10-count indictment against Kelley last April that accused him of theft between 2002-2008. In September, eight new federal charges were filed against Kelley, including allegations that he laundered money and paid himself from funds he allegedly stole from clients of his former real estate business.

He has been on unpaid leave while fighting the federal charges.

Milosica said he will “bring back respect and leadership” to an office that has been “plagued with scandal and embarrassment” since Kelley was elected nearly three years ago.

“Troy Kelley has brought shame and embarrassment to our once well-respected state auditor’s office,” Miloscia said in a news release. “The office has been rudderless since Kelley’s predecessor, Brian Sonntag, retired. As the next state auditor, I will critically examine all government spending in a fair and nonpartisan manner in the same way Auditor Sonntag did for 20 years. As we look to invest in critical programs that suffered devastating cuts during the recession, state government must improve its performance. I have a proven track record in both the public and private sectors, rooting out waste and improving performance.”

Miloscia served in the state House of Representatives from 1999-2013. After being elected to his first Senate term in 2014, he was named chair of its Accountability and Reform Committee, which oversees improving performance of state programs and audits of agencies. He is a recognized state and national leader in government accountability and ethics reform since he was first elected.

“We can’t afford to waste money. Every dollar wasted is one dollar less for schools or highway improvements,” Milosica continued. I learned how to get the most out of the taxpayer’s hard-earned dollar by auditing Boeing programs for the Air Force, and during my tenure in the state House and Senate. People are sick of seeing incompetence in their state government. Departmental mismanagement has led to problems like costly overruns with projects such as the Highway 99 tunnel and preventable lawsuits that have forced the Department of Social and Health Services to pay out over $160 million in the last eight years. We need to hold these people accountable, and stop further waste.”

Miloscia is also regarded as a fierce social justice advocates. He championed a bill in 2005 that aimed to cut the state’s homeless population by 50 percent, and was honored with an award from the King County Family Coalition/Arc of King County for his support for individuals with developmental disabilities in 2015.

He has served as both a Democrat in the state House and Republican in the state Senate. He says he believes the state auditor’s office should become nonpartisan.

Miloscia said his goal as state auditor would be to help make local governments more effective so that they can provide better services for middle class families and our state’s most vulnerable.

“First, we need to turn around the auditor’s office after the past four years and then set new standards for performance and financial audits,” he said in the news release. “It takes someone experienced in government operations and quality management to get the job done.”

Miloscia, a former Air Force B-52 pilot, received an engineering degree from the Air Force Academy. He also has an MBA from the University of North Dakota, Masters in Clinical Psychology from Chapman University and is a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Senior Executives in state and local government. Miloscia has been contract manager and a former executive at Tacoma Goodwill Industries and Federal Way Youth and Family Services.

He currently works as an emergency substitute teacher in the Auburn School District. He has been married to Meschell for 35 years and has three children, two children-in-laws and six grandsons.

credit: Federal Way Mirror

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published this page in Media 2015-10-08 11:46:42 -0700