Washington State Attorney General Files Suit Against Tim Eyman

The anti-tax man is accused of embezzling funds and misappropriating donations.

Earlier today, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced that his office has filed a campaign finance lawsuit against Tim Eyman, the anti-tax crusader responsible for many a conservative ballot-initiative. The suit, filed in response to a 2012 Public Disclosure Commission investigation, alleges that Eyman has embezzled campaign funds, and misappropriated and misreported donations.

Specifically, the lawsuit claims that Eyman, while serving as an officer on the political committee fielding initiative 1185—which would have required a two-thirds majority vote for the state legislature to raise taxes—was paid more than $300,000 with donations that were intended to go toward supporting the initiative. The lawsuit claims that this payment was also not reported to the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission. Additionally, the lawsuit claims that Eyman funneled donations made to I-1185 to Initiative 517, another effort he was heading up that would have enacted penalties for “interfering with signature-gatherers or signers.”

“Taking kickbacks from contractors, using campaign funds for personal expenses, redirecting donations made for one initiative to a different initiative—it’s hard to imagine what more Mr. Eyman could have done to show his contempt for our campaign finance disclosure laws,” Ferguson stated in a press release.

Ferguson is asking for almost $2 million in penalties from Eyman, as well as a reimbursement to the political committee from which Eyman allegedly embezzled campaign donations.

Eyman responded by sending out a statement from his attorney, Mark Lamb of the Bothell-based North Creek Law Firm, which denied any wrongdoing on Eyman’s part—specifically on his reporting practices—and implied that Ferguson’s lawsuit was politically motivated.

“This dispute is simple: whether two transactions needed to be included on campaign reports. The Attorney General believes they should, we do not. From the beginning, Mr. Eyman has made clear he did nothing wrong and the money he received was lawfully earned for the services he provided,” Lamb’s statement read, in part. “Mr. Eyman has the same First Amendment rights as the Attorney General himself. It is chilling that the stated purpose of this action is to permanently bar him from participating in the political process in this State.”

jkelety@seattleweekly.com

More in News & Comment

Most of the tenants at show cause hearings have fallen behind on rent, said Housing Justice Project Managing Attorney Edmund Witter. Photo by Melissa Hellmann
New Report Details Seattle’s Eviction Trends

Analysis of 2017 county records and interviews show that nearly 90 percent of evicted tenants experienced homelessness

Daron Morris Suspends Campaign for King County Prosecutor

After running as a reformer, Morris says medical reasons are preventing him from finishing the race.

Democratic incumbent Rep. Adam Smith of Washington’s 9th Congressional District (right) and challenger Sarah Smith discuss the issues facing the district during a forum the Mirror hosted on Sept. 19. Andy Hobbs/staff photo
Smith vs. Smith: Two Democrats Clash in 9th Congressional District Forum

Democratic socialist Sarah Smith seeks ‘bold new progressive vision’ in bid to replace incumbent Adam Smith.

Teen Immigrants in Washington Programs Claim Sexual Assault and Rape

Police reports from federally-funded facilities in Renton and Fife call the minors’ safety into question.

It’s Official: Safeco Field Will Get $135 Million in Taxpayer Funds

Critical King County Councilmembers call plan “a fleecing” and “irresponsible.”

The Westin Seattle workers represented by Unite Here Local 8 gather at Gethsemane Lutheran Church after voting to strike on Sep. 14. Photo by Abby Lawlor
Hotel Workers Vote to Authorize Strike

The Westin Seattle employees will picket to demand higher wages from Marriott International.

King County Moves to Expand Pre-Booking Diversion Program

Three cities could get money to link low-level drug offenders to services and keep them out of jail.

Immigrant Youth Vulnerable to Abuse in Centers

Federally-funded facilities struggle to maintain health and safety of minors stuck in limbo

Most Read