Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Jul 26 2019

Eyman has been in contempt on previous issues since February 2018

OLYMPIA — A Thurston County Superior Court judge today found initiative promoter Tim Eyman in contempt a second time in Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s campaign finance lawsuit. Eyman and/or his company, Watchdog for Taxpayers, have been in contempt on separate discovery violations for 525 days, racking up sanctions of $211,750.

Judge James Dixon found Eyman in contempt today because of Eyman’s refusal to disclose complete information related to hundreds of thousands of dollars of payments he solicited from individual donors, despite an order compelling him to provide the information. This information was originally due Jan. 24, 2019, and the special discovery master ordered him to produce the information by May 31.

The contempt finding is separate from and in addition to Eyman’s contempt finding for other discovery violations. The court originally ordered $250 per day in sanctions starting Feb. 16, 2018 while Eyman failed to provide the required information to the state. When Eyman continued his refusal to comply, the court doubled the daily penalty to $500 as of Sept. 7, 2018. In today’s ruling, Judge Dixon found Eyman in contempt a second time for violating the special master’s discovery order. Eyman remains in contempt until he complies with both court orders.

“Our campaign finance laws demand transparency,” Ferguson said. “Ignoring multiple court orders and refusing to turn over documents in order to avoid accountability is unacceptable.”

As a result of today’s order, Eyman will remain in contempt until he provides the information related to the Feb. 16 contempt order, as well as the donor information related to today’s order.

In September of 2015, the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) referred the Tim Eyman case to Attorney General Ferguson for enforcement. The chair of the PDC Commission described the case as “one of the most egregious the PDC has seen.”

In March of 2017, Ferguson filed the campaign finance lawsuit against Eyman, alleging improper personal use of more than $300,000 in contributions made to political committees, concealment of more than $490,000 in contributions and misleading reporting. The lawsuit also accuses Citizen Solutions of participating in a scheme to conceal campaign money the company funneled to Eyman.

Assistant Attorneys General Eric Newman, Todd Sipe and Paul Crisalli are handling the case.

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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.

Contacts:

Brionna Aho, Communications Director, (360) 753-2727; Brionna.aho@atg.wa.gov