Committee will owe another $36,000 in penalties if it violates campaign finance laws again in the next four years
OLYMPIA — The Attorney General’s Office announced today that the Spokane County Democratic Central Committee (SCDCC), former chair and executive director Jim CastroLang, and former treasurer Justin Galloway will pay nearly $50,000 for violating Washington state campaign finance law.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson recused himself from the matter.
The Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit against the committee, CastroLang and Galloway in May of 2017, alleging the SCDCC failed to timely file disclosure reports detailing $104,190 in contributions made to the SCDCC and $110,554 in SCDCC expenditures, including contributions made to political candidates.
The SCDCC filed at least 180 disclosure reports to the state Public Disclosure Commission late. The SCDCC filed multiple reports more than a year late. In addition, the SCDCC failed to file some reports until after the Attorney General’s Office filed its lawsuit.
The SCDCC did not timely report any of the salary payments made to CastroLang between September 2015 and March 21, 2017.
The failure to file timely disclosure reports denied the public its right under Washington law to see who is contributing to political committees and where those committees are spending those funds.
A Thurston County judge has ordered the Central Committee to pay $72,000 in penalties, with $36,000 suspended for four years contingent on no violations in that period, as well as $11,300 in costs and fees. CastroLang will pay $1,500 in penalties. Galloway was ordered to pay $500 in penalties.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Linda Dalton and Assistant Attorney General Todd Sipe are handling the case.
The recoveries in this case will go into the state Public Disclosure Transparency Account as required by law. The Attorney General’s Office has recovered more than $500,000 for the Transparency Account during the month of December.
The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal officer 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; firstname.lastname@example.org