Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Oct 13 2015

OLYMPIA — 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 Union Local 925 (SEIU 925) and SEIU Local 925 Public Service PAC (SEIU 925 PAC).  Specifically, the AG alleges that SEIU 925 and SEIU 925 PAC failed to timely and properly file reports of in-kind and monetary contributions as required under the state’s campaign finance laws.

“Transparency in elections is vital to the integrity of our democracy,” Attorney General Bob Ferguson said. “I am committed to holding all parties accountable for disclosing timely information, so voters can make fully informed decisions.”

In August, the Attorney General’s Office received a Citizen Action Complaint from the Freedom Foundation against SEIU 925 alleging multiple violations of the state’s public disclosure laws. The matter was referred to the state Public Disclosure Commission, which opened a formal investigation and reviewed the allegations against SEIU 925 at its special meeting on October 5, 2015.  PDC staff reported their findings that SEIU 925 had not violated state law on the majority of the allegations.  However, PDC Staff found that SEIU 925 had violated the requirement to report contributions, including in-kind contributions of staff time to operate and manage its political action committee.

The AGO’s complaint alleges that, between 2011 and 2015, SEIU 925 failed to file reports of monetary contributions totaling $635,000 made to SEIU 925 PAC as well as to other individuals and political committees.  The complaint also alleges SEIU 925 failed to file reports of in-kind contributions — including staff time, office space, postal and web services, and telephones — it made to the SEIU 925 PAC.  Finally, while SEIU 925 PAC reported receiving the monetary contributions, it failed to properly file reports of any in-kind contributions received from SEIU 925.

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 enforces 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.

Contacts: Peter Lavallee, Communications Director, peterl@atg.wa.gov