OLYMPIA —The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) announced the resolution of two campaign finance cases today. Eastern Washington University trustee Jay Manning failed to timely file two financial disclosures after his appointment and will pay $4,812.50. Audubon Washington failed to timely file independent expenditure reports for work on a TVW video voters’ guide and will pay $4,390.
In December 2016, the AGO received a Citizen Action Notice from Glen Morgan alleging violations of the state’s public disclosure laws by Manning.
Manning failed to file two personal financial affairs statements following his appointment as an EWU trustee, one due Dec. 4, 2015, another due April 15, 2016.
Manning apologized for the oversight and worked with the state Public Disclosure Commission to complete the forms, filed 361 and 228 days late, respectively. Manning faces a penalty of $3,145, with half suspended, and costs and fees of $3,240. The AGO filed the complaint and agreed judgment in Thurston County Superior Court.
In November 2016, the AGO received a Citizen Action Notice from Maxford Nelsen of the Freedom Foundation, alleging violations of the state’s public disclosure laws by Audubon Washington and other entities.
Audubon Washington failed to disclose salary it paid its executive director in August 2016 for writing and filming the TVW video voters’ guide supporting Initiative 732, which totaled $342.91. Other Audubon I-732 expenditures were properly disclosed.
The video voters’ guide expenditures were reported at least 62 days late. Audubon Washington will pay a penalty of $650 and costs and fees totaling $3,740. The AGO filed the complaint and agreed judgment in Thurston County Superior Court.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Linda Dalton and Assistant Attorney General Walter Smith handled the cases.
When the Attorney General’s Office receives a Citizen Action Complaint, it has 45 days to investigate and respond to the sender. If, after a subsequent 10-day notice, the office does not start litigation, the sender may sue in the name of the state. If litigation is successful, any penalties awarded would go to the state, and an attorney for the complainant could recover attorney fees and costs.
The Attorney General’s Office enforces the state’s campaign finance disclosure law to ensure free, open and fair elections in Washington state. Since becoming Attorney General, Attorney General Ferguson has devoted more agency resources to campaign finance casework.
The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.
Peter Lavallee, Communications Director, (360) 586-0725; PeterL@atg.wa.gov