About Chris

I am a resident of the 25th District in Pierce County Washington and have been a resident of Washington State since 2004. I obtained my bachelors of science in molecular biology in 2007 from the University of Washington and am currently finishing up a master’s degree in Business Finance at Washington State University.

 

Shortly after obtaining my undergraduate degree I joined the Seattle Police Department, where I worked as an officer and detective for 6 years. In this time, I spent 3 years as a detective of audits and inspections, directly responsible for conducting performance audits related to the Department’s consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice. I obtained national certification as a law enforcement auditor in this assignment from the International Law Enforcement Auditor’s Association (ILEAA). In addition to my duties on the consent decree, I also performed internal audits of property, narcotics, money, and other records that were required of us by state and federal law. Some of these very audits are those required by the Washington State Auditor’s Office.

 

Currently, I am a felony crimes detective with the King County Sheriff’s Office. In this role, I continue to perform investigations of financial fraud, various property and person’s crimes, and other types of crimes against Washington State and its residents.

 

Privately, I live in the Pierce County area on a farm with my wife, Stephanie. We run an animal rescue and hospice care non-profit on our farm, and we also train and rehabilitate numerous horses rescued from various kill pens across Washington State.

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My Philosophy as Auditor

  • True Independence. The power of this office came from non-partisan investigations of the practices of agencies across the state, regardless of the partisan nature of the auditor in charge. There appears to be good evidence that this no longer is true. Washington voters and legislators spent the 20th century empowering this agency because it was willing to analyze facts across numerous government agencies, regardless of the relationships involved. As auditor, I will ensure my role is to be a complete buffer between the agents of my organization and the rest of the state. The auditor’s office must conduct fact finding operations and data analysis completely separated from the potential interpersonal relationships its auditors may have with members of other government organizations.

  • Balance. The current auditor overwhelmingly conducted most discretionary performance audits in her tenure for IT security across the state. While this is an important concept, there is an obvious lack of balance across the different fields of audit in which performance audits can be selected. I will attempt to work with staff inside of the office to balance the topics we investigate to ensure it is well known that any industry in Washington is subject at any given time to audit of their performance with Washington tax dollars.

  • Public Transparency and Input. The auditor’s office is somewhat obscure in the shadow of other branches of state government despite its crucial role in tracking the flow of our money throughout various public practices. I believe we can do a better job determining where Washingtonians believe our efforts should be focused. In addition to the current whistle blower and fraud investigations program, I would like to see the implementation of public input into the business practices of the office. The public should have a direct channel by which they can assist in prioritizing what we should be conducting audits on across the state.

Priorities for year one

Legislature Health and Mental Wellness Study: Emergency responders such as police and firefighters have restricted amounts of hours they work in a day, as well as have restrictions on how much rest time they must have between shifts. This is done to ensure personnel tasked with making vital decisions in society are doing so from a position of rest and clarity.

This logic needs to be applied to other public servants who make critical decisions for our citizens. Upon taking office, I will request an audit of hours worked, shift durations, and rest periods of the House of Representatives and State Senate for sessions from 2010-2019. We will utilize the results of this audit in comparison with best accepted research on rest and mental wellness available in academia to make recommendations to the legislature as to potential restrictions they should adopt on work hours in a day, rest periods between sessions, and total hours worked in legislative sessions on an annual basis.

Traffic and Toll Camera Contracts: Across Washington State you will find an abundance of toll roads and toll camera systems. Given the recent significant expansion of these systems on Washington Roads, I will instruct an audit of the financial investments Washington State has made in these contracts to determine if the return on investments realized have been in the best interests of Washington citizens.

Chris Leyba for WA State Auditor

15220 50 Av E, Tacoma, WA 98446

leybaaudits@gmail.com

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