Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Apr 7 2016

Trial Lawyers Association failed to properly report $81,872 in contributions

OLYMPIA — The Attorney General’s Office today announced that it has filed a complaint in Thurston County Superior Court alleging campaign finance violations by the Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ). Specifically, the complaint alleges that WSAJ failed to timely and properly file lobbyist employer reports of its contributions, as required under the state’s campaign finance laws.

In January, the Attorney General’s Office received a Citizen Action Complaint from the Freedom Foundation against WSAJ alleging violations of the state’s public disclosure laws. The AGO referred the matter to the state Public Disclosure Commission for possible investigation and a recommendation. Following an investigation, PDC staff reported their findings to the Commission that WSAJ had not violated state law on one of the two allegations. However, PDC staff did report that WSAJ had not properly reported contributions to several political committees as required.

On March 11, 2016, the Commission returned the matter to the AGO with a recommendation that the Attorney General take appropriate action concerning WSAJ’s reporting failures. 

The AGO’s complaint alleges that WSAJ failed to properly report a total of $81,872 in monetary contributions on two occasions in 2012.  The state seeks penalties and injunctive relief.

WSAJ will have twenty days from the date it is served to respond to the state’s complaint. 

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.

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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. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.

Contact:

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