Federal bankruptcy judge approves resolution forcing Tim Eyman to repay debts
A federal bankruptcy judge has approved a resolution that forces Tim Eyman to give up his share of his home to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for what he owes on his campaign finance judgment and other creditors. The parties who agreed to the resolution include Tim Eyman, Karen Williams (formerly Karen Eyman), the Trustee, Tim Eyman’s attorneys and the State of Washington.
Eyman filed for bankruptcy in November 2018 before the start of the trial in an effort to avoid liability for campaign finance violations resulting from an illegal kickback scheme that the PDC called “one of the most flagrant violations” that the PDC had never seen in nearly 50 years of existence. In January 2019, the bankruptcy judge ruled that the attorney general’s campaign finance case could proceed regardless of the bankruptcy filing. Eyman then requested that his bankruptcy petition be withdrawn, but was denied.
In April 2021, following the trial, a Thurston County Superior Court judge ruled that Tim Eyman repeatedly and intentionally violated Washington’s campaign finance law and ordered Eyman to pay a fine. $2.6 million civil liability. Additionally, the court ordered Eyman to pay $2.9 million to cover state costs and fees associated with investigating and prosecuting the case.
United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington Judge Marc Barreca signed the order Thursday afternoon. With this court approval, Tim Eyman’s estate is required to sell its share of his Mukilteo home to Karen Williams. She will buy the house for $906,484 and can continue to live there. Proceeds from the sale will pay Eyman’s creditors.
The bankruptcy will determine at a later date the exact portion of the proceeds that will go to the state to repay Tim Eyman’s judgment. Other creditors, including Eyman’s attorneys and the bankruptcy trustee, also have claims against the bankruptcy estate. The Attorney General’s office expects the state to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars as a result of this resolution.
Eyman paid a total of $538,840.98 for his judgment and penalties. He currently owes a total of $5,628,456.42, including accrued interest.
This resolution does not relieve Tim Eyman of his legal responsibility to pay the remainder of the judgment. Eyman’s legal and financial obligation to pay the full amount of the judgment to the state will continue after the bankruptcy is resolved. The judgment continues to accrue interest until it is paid.
“I have said everything there is to say about Tim Eyman’s outrageous and unlawful conduct,” Attorney General Bob Ferguson said. “That said, I still enjoy reading how he recounts his latest setback to his supporters. Eyman will never take responsibility for his actions, as any admission of wrongdoing would undermine his attempts to extract additional dollars from his supporters. By Consequently, he will continue to misrepresent himself as the victim while losing where it counts – in court.
Campaign finance stops, contempt
Eyman is obliged to pay a civil fine of $2.6 million for campaign finance violations, as well as nearly $2.9 million in costs and fees. Thurston County Superior Court Judge James Dixon ruled that Eyman’s “numerous and flagrant violations” were intentional. Eyman is a repeat offender of Washington voter-approved campaign finance laws. On several occasions, the state caught him illegally and intentionally concealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions that ended up in his personal bank account.
The Washington State Public Disclosure Commission investigated Tim Eyman, found evidence that he engaged in an illegal kickback scheme, and referred the case to the Attorney General’s office for execution. At that time, the The PDC chairman called the case ‘one of the most flagrant violations’ that the PDC had never seen in nearly 50 years of existence.
A Supreme Court commissioner found that Eyman’s willful disregard for court orders has resulted in costly trial delays and a waste of resources, writing, “Mr. Eyman deliberately frustrated the state’s efforts to prepare for trial, causing significant delays and an obvious waste of resources.
In his judgment, Justice Dixon wrote, “In the history of Fair Campaign Practices law enforcement, it would be difficult for the court to conceive of a case of misconduct more flagrant or more extensive than the misconduct committed by Defendant Eyman in this case. “
Additionally, Judge Dixon ruled that Eyman’s unlawful conduct was “part of a pattern of violations, which resulted from a conscious and intentional effort to conceal, deceive, mislead and engage in collusive behavior.” [as defined by the law].”
The judge also ruled that Eyman had deposited checks payable to his initiative committee into his personal account. Eyman, he ruled, “personally benefited” from his unlawful conduct.
Judge Dixon ruled that Eyman intentionally concealed a $308,185 bribe he received from Citizen Solutions, a for-profit signature collection company. Judge Dixon also ruled that Eyman intentionally broke the law by failing to disclose to the public $766,447 in contributions he received in his personal bank accounts. The Public Disclosure Commission specifically advised him in a 2002 letter that donations, such as those for personal living expenses, “intended to allow you to continue your efforts to support the initiatives” were political contributions requiring public disclosure.
The judge also barred Eyman from directing the finances of any political committee. The last time Eyman admitted to intentionally violating Washington’s voter-approved campaign finance law, he signed a legally enforceable agreement to never again serve as treasurer of a political committee. This extraordinary remedy proved unsuccessful in stopping Eyman’s unlawful conduct. Therefore, the Attorney General’s office pursued the logical next step – a ban on directing the finances of any political committee. The judge granted this appeal. This will not prevent Eyman from designing, writing and promoting initiatives. However, he is prohibited from deciding how political committees spend their money, from negotiating with suppliers and from paying bribes into his personal bank account.
The court previously ruled that Eyman’s associates committed several campaign violations. In 2019, Judge Dixon rendered judgment against Citizen Solutions and its director, William Agazarm, for their role in the Eyman scheme. The court ordered Citizen Solutions and Agazarm to collectively pay over a million dollars to illegally deceive Washingtonians channeling campaign donations to Tim Eyman.
The above is a press release from the office of AG Bob Ferguson. The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its content and encourages our readers to personally verify any information they find too biased or questionable. Publication of this press release does not imply endorsement of its contents.