Judge rules Eyman broke the law, concealed $766,000 in political contributions

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Judge rules that Tim
Eyman broke the law

From the Office of the Attorney General

A Thurston County Superior Court judge ruled Friday that Tim Eyman has committed more than 100 violations of multiple Washington state campaign finance laws by concealing $766,447 in political contributions. Eyman faces significant potential penalties which will be determined in July.

Judge James Dixon ruled that Eyman broke the law by failing to disclose the $766,447 in contributions in the form of multiple reports to the state Public Disclosure Commission over several years. The judge ruled that a total 110 reports are a combined 173,862 days late. Eyman remains in contempt of court for refusing to turn over information, for which the court has ordered him to pay daily monetary sanctions.

Washington campaign finance law allows penalties of up to $10 per day that each report is late. Eyman can also face an additional penalty of $766,447 — the amount concealed. Additionally, the penalty can be trebled if the judge finds his conduct was intentional. The office contends these violations were intentional and will be seeking triple penalties.

The penalty for these violations will be decided following the trial on the remaining issues in the case, set for July 13.

During its investigation, Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office discovered that Eyman solicited hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions for a political purpose, which he spent for his personal benefit. Eyman previously characterized the contributions as “gifts,” even though the Public Disclosure Commission specifically advised him in a 2002 letter that donations, such as for personal living expenses, “designed to enable you to continue your efforts of supporting initiatives” were political contributions subject to disclosure.

Today’s ruling did not address the original violations Ferguson and the Public Disclosure Commission asserted at the time Ferguson filed suit in March 2017 lawsuit, including the assertion that Eyman concealed a $308,185 kickback. Those issues, and others, will be resolved at trial.


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