Tim Eyman forced to sell Mukilteo house to pay campaign finance fines

SEATTLE — Watch salesman turned anti-tax initiative promoter Tim Eyman, who was discovered liable final 12 months for “quite a few and significantly egregious” violations of marketing campaign finance regulation, has been compelled to promote his home to assist pay hundreds of thousands of {dollars} of fines and debt.

A federal chapter decide Thursday accepted a decision requiring Eyman to promote his portion of a Mukilteo home to his ex-wife, The Seattle Instances reported.

The $900,000 in proceeds will go towards paying over $5.6 million in sanctions and authorized charges he owes the state of Washington and different collectors.

Eyman was fined greater than $2.6 million in February 2021 after a Thurston County decide discovered he had enriched himself by laundering political donations, had accepted kickbacks from a signature-gathering firm, secretly shuttled cash between initiative campaigns and hid the supply of different political contributions.

Within the historical past of Washington state’s marketing campaign finance regulation, “it might be tough for the Court docket to conceive of a case with misconduct that’s extra egregious or extra in depth,” Thurston County Superior Court docket Choose James Dixon wrote.

Eyman was ordered to pay greater than $2.9 million in authorized charges to cowl the price of Legal professional Common Bob Ferguson’s yearslong investigation and prosecution.

Eyman described the penalties in opposition to him as “ridiculously unconstitutional and absurdly extreme” in an e mail to the newspaper.

Eyman has paid about $538,000 in fines and costs however nonetheless owes greater than $5.6 million, together with accrued curiosity, in accordance with Ferguson’s workplace.

Eyman filed for chapter simply earlier than his trial. A U.S. chapter decide in December discovered Eyman in default and ordered his chapter case shifted from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7. Chapter 7 means the court docket appoints a trustee accountable for promoting Eyman’s property and distributing the proceeds to his debtors.

Eyman was additionally prohibited from directing the funds of any form of political committee. Eyman lengthy argued such a sentence can be a demise blow to his profession as a political activist. However after the ruling, he backtracked, saying he would change paperwork on his political committee, however the “the remaining will stay the identical.”

Eyman has continued to draft and promote initiatives, however he can not resolve how political committees spend cash, settle for a verify for a political committee, have a checking account with political committee funds or negotiate with distributors.

This case goes again to a 2012 probe by the state’s campaign-finance watchdog, the Public Disclosure Fee. It was referred to Ferguson in 2015, and he filed a lawsuit in 2017.

Eyman was held in contempt of court docket for 2 years for refusing to cooperate with the lawsuit, and he paid greater than $300,000 in ensuing fines.

Lots of the claims within the lawsuit mirrored the same case Eyman apologized for in 2002, after it was revealed he’d lied about paying himself from initiative donor funds. He paid $55,000 in fines and was banned from serving as treasurer of a political committee.

“I’ve mentioned every part there may be to say about Tim Eyman’s outrageous and unlawful conduct,” Ferguson mentioned in a written assertion. “Eyman won’t ever take accountability for his actions, as a result of any acknowledgment of wrongdoing would undermine his makes an attempt to pry extra {dollars} out of his supporters.”

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