Judge finds anti-tax crusader Tim Eyman in contempt of court in state campaign finance case
March 10, 2018
By Rex D. Cain
Tim Eyman (center) and friends.
(OLYMPIA, WA.) -- In a tweet on Friday, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson wrote, "Thurston County judge finds Tim Eyman in contempt in state's campaign finance case. Details to come. Case background: http://www.atg.wa.gov/news/news-releases/ferguson-files-21m-campaign-finance-lawsuit-against-tim-eyman…each defendant will pay $250 per day in penalties, dating back to Feb. 16 until the contempt is purged."
What the tweet meant was that Tim Eyman and co-defendants were hit with the $250-a-day fines in connection with a long-running issue over Eyman's financial records, requested by Ferguson.
Ferguson had asked the court to impose much higher fines -- $2,000 a day against Eyman and Citizen Solutions, a company that has supplied paid signature gatherers for Eyman's initiative campaigns.
Ferguson went to the court to argue that Eyman and his co-defendants have failed to fully comply with the state's discovery requests to produce documents related to alleged violations of state campaign finance laws.
Previously (March 2017) Ferguson filed a $2.1 million civil suit against Eyman for alleged personal use of campaign contributions and violations of Washington's disclosure laws.
SeattlePI.com reported that Eyman's attorney Mark Lamb argued in court on Friday that the Attorney General's Office already has his client's tax and business documents, which he says were produced in full on March 2.
Lamb said, "They have every bank account number, every routing number for (Eyman's) businesses as well as every tax return, federal or state, for the past 14 years," according to the newspaper report. "All banking records from the inception" of Eyman's business are in the AG's hands, he added.
SeattlePI.com says the stakes are high in this state-vs.-Eyman confrontation with Eyman's for-profit company, Tim Eyman Watchdog for Taxpayers facing potentially $1.8 million in penalties and Citizen Solutions, which allegedly diverted money to Eyman, facing penalties up to $924,555.