Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Tim Eyman and his committees failed to meet the court-ordered deadline for disclosing documents.

Share story

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Wednesday asked a Snohomish County Superior Court judge to hold Tim Eyman and his political committees in contempt for failing to turn over documents as part of an investigation into the initiative promoter’s campaign-finance practices.

Ferguson said he was also seeking a similar ruling from a Thurston County judge against the signature-gathering firm Citizen Solutions, saying that both Eyman and his committees have failed to meet a court-ordered deadline for disclosing the documents.

“Despite a subpoena and a court order, Tim Eyman continues to impede this investigation,” Ferguson said. “That’s unacceptable.”

Eyman has proposed numerous tax-limiting initiatives over the years. Last fall, the state Public Disclosure Commission said it discovered several potential violations of campaign-finance law and forwarded the information to Ferguson.

The findings included allegations Eyman used $170,000 in contributions to a political committee for living expenses; that his political committees failed to accurately report contributions and expenditures; and that about half of $623,000 in payments from one of Eyman’s political committees to Citizen Solutions was passed along to Eyman’s for-profit company.

Ferguson had previously filed petitions in Snohomish County and Thurston County superior courts asking them to enforce subpoenas seeking documents pertaining to Eyman, his political committees, his for-profit company and the for-profit signature gathering company Citizen Solutions. Both courts ruled in Ferguson’s favor, and they gave Eyman and the committees a July 13 deadline for compliance.

Ferguson said that since those court orders, Eyman and his committees have turned over 247 pages of records, which Ferguson says is “a small fraction” of what is required.

If the two courts grant the contempt order, Ferguson will be able to seek the documents directly from the government and the banks of Eyman and the committees. Ferguson also wants the court to fine Eyman and the committees $2,000 a day for each day they fail to comply.

Eyman didn’t respond to a request for comment, but he forwarded an email his attorney sent the attorney general’s office in which he argued that his client turned over all requested copies of his federal and state business and personal tax returns by the deadline.

“The returns provided to your office are complete and accurate copies of the returns electronically filed by his accountant,” attorney Mark Lamb wrote. “There are no income tax records for any of the Washington state political committees as they do not pay federal income tax and thus have filed no returns.”