On the hook for millions, Tim Eyman defaults on payments to state stemming from lawsuit
After being ordered by a Thurston County judge to pay a $2.6 million fine for violating campaign finance laws, anti-tax activist Tim Eyman has missed his last two monthly payments.
That’s according to a request for relief filed by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson this week, describing how Eyman had failed to submit his court-ordered $10,000 monthly payments in both September and October of 2021.
According to the filing, the state had emailed Eyman and his lawyer repeatedly throughout the month of September, before finally getting a response in the form of “a photo of a check and a stamped envelope that was addressed to the State, but with no postmark.”
“That check has never been received,” the filing notes.
Then on Sept. 30, the state issued a notice giving Eyman 30 days to cure his defaulted payment status, while requiring him to deliver a response confirming he had received the notice by Oct. 21. Eyman reportedly did not respond to confirm his receipt of the notice, meaning he has now defaulted on his debt stemming from the lawsuit.
According to a quarterly report filed in late June of 2021, Eyman indicated that he had over $52,000 combined across three bank accounts.
Eyman filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018, saying at the time that it was his only way to protect his assets while the lawsuit against him was still ongoing.
As part of Ferguson’s recent filing, he’s requesting that a Chapter 11 trustee be appointed by the court, with the ability to distribute Eyman’s payments themselves, and if necessary, sell his house to cover the cost of his debts.
Eyman was ordered to pay the $2.6 million fine in February of 2021, with the judge citing “numerous and egregious” violations of campaign finance laws.
The case brought by the state — originally filed in 2017 by Attorney General Ferguson — alleged that Eyman had received kickbacks from donors contributing money to his initiatives, and then used that money for personal gain.
The judge affirmed those allegations in his ruling, finding that Eyman had enacted a “scheme” to funnel kickbacks to himself through signature-gathering campaigns. The state’s case highlighted one particular instance where Eyman had overpaid a signature-gathering firm called Citizen Solutions, which then funneled $308,000 back to his company for so-called “consulting” work.
Eyman was ordered to pay an additional $2.9 million in April in court fees stemming from Eyman being found in contempt for a “refusal to disclose complete information related to hundreds of thousands of dollars of payments he solicited from individual donors.” He was initially ordered to provide those documents in late January 2019 and then again in May of that same year.
The court had ordered that Eyman be fined $250 per day for a different contempt ruling beginning in February 2018 until he produced requested discovery documents. That was doubled to $500 in September of 2018. At the time, Ferguson’s office estimated Eyman has been sanctioned over $211,000 across 525 days in contempt.