Accused of making contributions in own name, reimbursed by Corrections, Court Protection guilds
OLYMPIA — The Attorney General’s Office today announced it has filed a complaint alleging campaign finance violations by Jared Karstetter, an attorney who formerly represented the King County Corrections Guild and King County Court Protection Guild.
In September 2016, the AGO received a Citizen Action Complaint from the King County Corrections Guild alleging multiple violations by Karstetter of the state’s campaign finance disclosure laws. The AGO referred the matter to the state Public Disclosure Commission for possible investigation and a recommendation.
Following review of its staff investigation, the Public Disclosure Commission recommended the AGO take action.
The complaint, filed in Thurston County Superior Court, alleges that Karstetter concealed the true source of at least $16,170 in campaign contributions to various candidates and one political committee.
On at least 25 occasions from 2012 through 2015, while representing the Corrections Guild, Karstetter made campaign contributions by presenting a personal credit card. The recipient recorded the contribution as coming from Karstetter or his wife.
The actual source of the funds for these contributions, however, was the Corrections Guild, who either through prepayments or reimbursements, paid Karstetter for these contributions.
At least $12,650 in contributions were made in this way. At the same time, Karstetter also represented the Court Protection Guild, and made at least $3,515 in campaign contributions in the same way — reporting himself as the donor while receiving reimbursement from the guild.
Based on Karstetter’s alleged actions, some candidates unknowingly received contributions from the Corrections Guild which were over the legal contribution limit.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Linda Dalton and Assistant Attorney General Walter Smith are handling the case.
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.
Peter Lavallee, Communications Director, (360) 586-0725; PeterL@atg.wa.gov