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

Bellevue Votes to Permanently Ban Safe-Drug Sites

Leaders say the sites make “no sense” for their city.

What Jenny Durkan’s Time as U.S. Attorney Says About Her As a Candidate

She made some progressive reforms. But she also leaned on activists and declined to prosecute anyone involved in the WaMu collapse.

Indigenous activists Roxanne White and Rachel Heaton sing at Divest the Globe protest on October 23. Photos by Sara Bernard
Activists Disrupt Over 100 Bank Branches Across Seattle for Financing Tar Sands Projects

“This movement is not separate from Standing Rock, it’s an extension of it.”

Developer-Backed Ad Says Jenny Durkan Will ‘Hold Developers Accountable’

The 30 second spot is part of a big ad buy by a pro-Durkan PAC.

King County Elections
Watch King County Election’s Striking New Videos Prodding People to Vote

Two new videos aim to counter low turnout for municipal elections.

Beds at Recovery Place, a new substance abuse and mental health treatment facility in Seattle. Photo by Sara Bernard
In Effort to Tackle Opioid Epidemic, New Facility Will Host Detox and Mental Health Services in One

The facility is designed to address drug addiction and the root causes of homelessness.

Sebastian Burns, left, and Atif Rafay, right, when they were arrested at age 19. Contributed mug shots
‘The Confession Tapes’ Re-Opens the Triple-Murder Case of Sebastian Burns and Atif Rafay

King County prosecutor Dan Satterberg says the show is bunk. The creators disagree.

Flickr/Chris Sampson
Union: Airline Caterer Kept Paying Sub-Minimum Wages After It Was Hit With $300K Fine

And because of a new settlement, the city is unlikely to go after wages the workers say they are entitled to.

Most Read