Eyman has already paid nearly $500,000 to the state
OLYMPIA — A Thurston County Superior Court judge today ordered Tim Eyman to pay nearly $2.9 million in costs and fees related to Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s campaign finance lawsuit.
In February 2021, Judge James Dixon levied a civil penalty of $2.6 million. The judge ruled that Eyman’s “numerous and blatant violations” were intentional. Eyman is a repeat violator of our state’s voter-approved campaign finance laws. On multiple occasions, the state caught him illegally and intentionally concealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions that ended up in his personal bank account.
Eyman is under a court order to pay $10,000 every month on or before the fifth day of the month. Eyman has been consistently making payments. He made his most recent payment on April 5 for $11,456.02.
To date, Eyman has paid $424,589.08 to the state, including $355,498.95 in contempt sanctions and fees related to his willful delay of the state’s case. Beginning January 2022, the court-ordered amount increases, and Eyman must pay the state $13,500 every month.
“Tim Eyman broke the law — repeatedly — and in order to delay his day of reckoning, he willfully dragged out this case with frivolous and cost-inflating litigation tactics,” Ferguson said. “This decision ensures that Tim Eyman bears the cost of his years-long obstruction of our case — not the taxpayers.”
The Washington State Public Disclosure Commission investigated Tim Eyman, found evidence that he had engaged in an illegal kick-back scheme, and referred the case to the Attorney General’s Office for enforcement. At that time, the PDC Chair called it “one of the most egregious” violations the PDC had ever seen in its nearly 50 years of existence.
A Supreme Court Commissioner found that Eyman’s willful disregard for court orders resulted in costly trial delays and wasted resources, writing: “Mr. Eyman willfully thwarted the State’s efforts to prepare for trial, causing significant delay and an obvious waste of resources.”
In his recent judgment, Judge Dixon wrote, “In the history of the Fair Campaign Practices Act enforcement, it would be difficult for the court to conceive of a case with misconduct that is more egregious or more extensive than the misconduct committed by defendant Eyman in this matter.”
Moreover, Judge Dixon ruled that Eyman’s illegal conduct was “part of a pattern of violations, which resulted from a knowing and intentional effort to conceal, deceive, mislead and engage in collusive behavior [as defined by the law].”
The judge also ruled that Eyman deposited checks into his personal account that were made out to his initiative committee. Eyman, he ruled, “benefitted personally” from his unlawful conduct.
Judge Dixon ruled that Eyman intentionally concealed a $308,185 kickback he received from Citizen Solutions, a for-profit signature gathering firm. Judge Dixon also ruled that Eyman intentionally thwarted the law by failing to disclose to the public $766,447 in contributions he received into his personal bank accounts. The Public Disclosure Commission specifically advised him in a 2002 letter that donations, such as those for personal living expenses, “designed to enable you to continue your efforts of supporting initiatives” were political contributions requiring public disclosure.
The judge also prohibited Eyman from directing the finances of any political committee. The last time Eyman admitted intentionally violating Washington’s voter-approved campaign finance law, he signed a legally enforceable agreement to never again act as a treasurer on any political committee. That extraordinary remedy proved unsuccessful at stopping Eyman’s illegal conduct. Consequently, the Attorney General’s Office pursued the next logical step — a prohibition on directing the finances of any political committee. The judge granted that remedy. This will not prevent Eyman from conceiving, drafting and promoting initiatives. He is, however, prohibited from deciding how political committees spend their money, negotiating with vendors, and directing financial kickbacks into his personal bank account.
The court previously ruled that Eyman’s associates committed multiple campaign violations. In 2019, Judge Dixon entered a judgment against Citizen Solutions and its principal, William Agazarm, for their role in Eyman’s scheme. The court ordered Citizen Solutions and Agazarm to collectively pay more than $1 million for illegally deceiving Washingtonians by funneling campaign donations to Tim Eyman.
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.
Brionna Aho, Communications Director, (360) 753-2727; Brionna.email@example.com
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