Attorney General wants Tim Eyman to be held in contempt of court

Jul 27, 2016, 5:06 PM | Updated: Jul 28, 2016, 12:39 pm

Tim Eyman, thought police...

Washington activist Tim Eyman. (AP)


Washington state has been pursuing allegations against Tim Eyman over the past year, and now it wants to hold him in contempt.

Related: New Eyman initiative would ‘pull the plug’ on I-405, SR 167 toll lanes

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson has asked the Snohomish County Superior Court to hold Eyman in contempt for failing to meet court-ordered demands. The AG’s office also is asking the same of Thurston County Superior Court for Citizen Solutions, a signature gathering firm that Eyman has worked with in the past.

Should Eyman be held in contempt, it would open the door for the attorney general’s office to go around Eyman and get documents directly from the federal government and his banks.

The state asked for Eyman to disclose documents related to his initiative efforts, signature gathering, and his for-profit businesses. The attorney general’s office is seeking further evidence that Eyman used campaign funds for personal needs, and also mixed funds between separate campaigns. But the AG argues that Eyman handed over only a “smattering of records” by a deadline on July 13. It further says that Citizen Solutions failed to meet a similar deadline on July 1.

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

Both Snohomish and Thurston County courts ordered Eyman, his committees, and Citizen Solutions ( a signature gathering firm) to hand over documents by deadlines this July.  Eyman handed over 247 pages of records which is not nearly enough, according to the AG’s office. Those records included partial tax documents for Eyman, his business, Tim Eyman Watchdog for Citizens, and no records for any of his committees.

According to the Attorney General’s Office:

Eyman only produced partial tax documents for himself and his business, Tim Eyman Watchdog for Citizens LLC, and no tax records for any of the political committees.

No financial records for the committees were produced at all, except 17 partial bank statements for Voters Want More Choices.

The attorney general argues that there is evidence that such records exist.

Also included in the request by the state:

• A penalty of $2,000 for each day Eyman remains in contempt of court

• An order authorizing the state to issue civil orders to third party banks to obtain records

• An order directing Eyeman to execute releases authorizing the state to obtain federal tax return information

• An order awarding the state further costs and attorney’s fees incurred in connection with the contempt motion.

Tim Eyman’s attorney responds

After the Attorney General’s Office announced its request, Eyman’s attorney Mark Lamb responded. He claims they have complied.

Receipt confirmed.

Though I am reviewing the balance of the motion, I wanted to immediately respond to the incorrect assertions in the attached motion regarding tax returns.

Mr. Eyman turned over all copies of his federal and state business and personal tax returns from 2009-2014 by the deadline contained in the order. The returns provided to your office are complete and accurate copies of the returns electronically filed by his accountant. There are no federal business tax returns because the LLC is a disregarded entity for federal tax purposes and all income from this entity is reflected on Schedule C of Mr. and Mrs. Eyman’s personal return which was timely produced.

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.

I am reviewing the balance of the motion and will respond as quickly as I can considering this motion for contempt is the first time I am hearing that your office believes there were deficiencies in the July 13, 2016 production.

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Attorney General wants Tim Eyman to be held in contempt of court