Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Sep 24 2015

The Attorney General’s Office today announced that it has filed a complaint in Thurston County Superior Court alleging campaign finance violations by Service Employees International Healthcare 775NW (SEIU 775) and SEIU 775 Quality Care Committee (SEIU 775 PAC).  Specifically, the AG alleges that SEIU 775 and SEIU 775 PAC failed to timely and properly file reports of in-kind and monetary contributions as required under the state’s campaign finance laws.

In late July, the Attorney General’s Office received a Citizen Action Complaint from the Freedom Foundation against SEIU 775 alleging multiple violations of the state’s public disclosure laws. The matter was referred to the Public Disclosure Commission, which opened a formal investigation. The state Public Disclosure Commission reviewed the allegations against SEIU 775 at its special meeting on September 21, 2015. PDC staff reported their findings that SEIU 775 had not violated state law on the majority of the allegations. However, it may have violated the requirement to report in-kind contributions of staff time to operate and manage its political action committee.

Following a review of the PDC’s information, the AGO conducted further investigation and found evidence that SEIU 775 and SEIU 775 PAC failed to file reports of both in-kind and monetary contributions. The complaint alleges that SEIU 775 failed to file reports of monetary contributions totaling $1.39 million as well as in-kind contributions — including staff time, office space, postal and web services, and telephones — made to the SEIU 775 PAC from 2010 to 2015. While SEIU 775 PAC reported receiving the monetary contributions, the PAC failed to properly file reports of any in-kind contributions received from SEIU 775.

The state seeks penalties and injunctive relief.

A copy of the response to the Freedom Foundation’s Citizen Action Complaint to the Attorney General’s Office can be found here. A copy of the complaint can be found here.

The Attorney General’s Office is charged with enforcing the state’s campaign finance disclosure law to ensure free, open, and fair elections in Washington state.

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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. Attorney General Bob Ferguson is working hard to protect consumers and seniors against fraud, keep our communities safe, protect our environment and stand up for our veterans. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.

 

Contact:

Peter Lavallee, Communications Director, (360) 586-0725; PeterL@atg.wa.gov