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.
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
A TRUE non-partisan office - In the beginning of the 2021 legislative session I am working with current elected officials to have a bill introduced that will change the Washington State Auditor's Office to a 4 year, non-partisan office. This will require large majorities of votes in both houses of the legislature (as well as a vote of the people of Washington); however, I believe that this office is about government oversight and objective facts. Partisanship opens the door to questions of objectivity, especially when auditing agencies directed by partisan donors.
The COVID-19 after action report - Washington needs to be informed of the comprehensive methods that were used to decide how our state was directed to respond to the pandemic. I will be ordering a performance audit of our state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to include responses by:
- The Washington Department of Health
- Washington Emergency Management Division
- The Office of the Governor of Washington State
In this audit, we will also partner with epidemiologists and local students within our state university system, providing them the data used to steer our state response. This will allow a private sector analysis of the results we find in our investigation to be conducted alongside our public one. This process will ensure Washington is second to none in pandemic response protocols moving forward and will expose and correct any issues with the methodology used this year.
Restructure Office Management - The office of the State Auditor does not need a lobbyist earning $116,000 a year of your tax dollars to lobby the legislature for more of your tax dollars. As your representative, that is my job.
In addition to this position restructuring, we will be moving functions of the office, such as cybersecurity and special investigations, so that my audit staff has the best ability to prioritize future threats to our state and government process.