The King County Democratic Central Committee was late in reporting both campaign spending and contributions during the 2016 election, according to a new lawsuit by the Washington Attorney General’s Office.
OLYMPIA — The Washington Attorney General’s Office has filed a complaint alleging the King County Democratic Central Committee failed to disclose on time certain campaign spending and donations during the 2016 election cycle.
The central committee did not report some of its spending and contributions made during the height of campaign season until after the Nov. 7 general election, according to the lawsuit filed Friday in Thurston County Superior Court.
As a result, the central committee inhibited “the public’s right to know who is contributing to Washington political committees,” according to a news release by the Attorney General’s Office.
In 2016, the central committee failed to timely disclose a total of $65,442 in election spending and $74,261 in campaign contributions, according to the news release.
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The lawsuit, which seeks an unspecified amount of penalties and costs, gives a month-by-month breakdown of the central committee’s disclosure filings made to the state Public Disclosure Commission (PDC).
Some of those reports were filed months after they should have been, according to the lawsuit. Reports due to the state in the July, September, October and November before the election weren’t filed until afterward, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit comes in response to a complaint filed by Glen Morgan in March, the Attorney General’s Office said.
Morgan in recent months has filed a slew of complaints against Democratic officials, including Washington House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle.
Before that, however, the PDC had initiated its own investigation into the central committee over potential violations.
That investigation came after the central committee’s treasurer quit last August. At the time he left, the treasurer delivered a cash box, laptop and records from the organization to Olympia and left them outside the PDC’s door, according to the PDC’s investigation.
Bailey Stober, chair of the King County Democrats since December 2016, said Friday that the organization is looking into the lawsuit and “will be filing a response” to it.