NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting 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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