NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, July 1st, 2016

Tim Eyman’s pals Eddie Agazarm and Roy Ruffino ordered to cooperate with AG’s probe

The men Tim Eyman relies on to organize paid signature drives to force public votes on his schemes to wreck government have been ordered by a Thurston County Superior Court judge to cooperate with Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s investigation into their lawbreaking, just forty-eight hours after a Snohomish County Superior Court judge ordered Eyman himself to do the same.

Eddie Agazarm and Roy Ruffino are the duo behind “Citizen Solutions”, which have been the muscle behind Eyman’s initiative factory for well over a decade.

A multiyear investigation by the Public Disclosure Commission completed last year and referred to Ferguson uncovered an arrangement we had always suspected existed, but could not prove: Eyman has been getting lucrative kickbacks from Citizen Solutions in addition to paying himself a “salary” out of campaign funds. A large chunk of the money Eyman’s PDC reports have said was used for signature gathering actually went back to Tim. He’s been lining his own pockets… again.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson, at the PDC’s request, is trying to determine whether Eyman broke the law in time periods other than 2012, which was the focus of the Public Disclosure Commission’s investigation.

But Ferguson’s follow-up investigation has been hampered by a lack of cooperation. Eyman, Agazarm, and Ruffino have been withholding information, no doubt in an attempt to postpone their day of reckoning. Earlier this month, tired of their games and their intransigence, Ferguson filed petitions in Snohomish and Thurston County Superior Courts to compel their cooperation.

On Thursday, Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Ellen Fair approved an order requiring Tim Eyman to turn over the document  Ferguson wants by July 13th. Today, Thurston County Superior Court Judge Mary Sue Wilson signed off on a similar order for Roy Ruffino and Eddie Agazarm.

Interestingly, Ruffino and Agazarm share counsel with Eyman — they’re all represented by attorney Mark Lamb of Bothell — which suggests the trio have decided to stick together, at least for the time being.

Lamb was in court on Wednesday representing Eyman, but waived his appearance this morning in Thurston County Superior Court before Judge Wilson, who granted the relief sought by the state: an order to compel cooperation and payment of costs involved with enforcing the lawfully issued subpoena.

“Citizen Solutions should have turned this information over months ago,” Ferguson said in a news release hailing the order.

“Two courts have now recognized what Tim Eyman and his associates refused to accept — when my office subpoenas evidence, you can’t simply choose to ignore it.”

Ruffino and Agazarm have until July 13th to produce the bank statements, correspondence, and tax returns Ferguson’s office wants.

If they do not, they could be held in contempt of court.

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