Disgraced initiative promoter Tim Eyman has at last filed an answer to the State of Washington’s lawsuit against him and his associates — and it’s a doozy.
In a ten page pleading filed today with Thurston County Superior Court, Eyman asserted through his lawyer Mark Lamb that he hasn’t done anything wrong and is being persecuted — unconstitutionally — by Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office. Accordingly, Eyman is countersuing and requesting declaratory judgment finding that the relief sought by the state violates his constitutional rights.
Besides a dismissal of the state’s suit, Eyman also wants an injunction barring the state from seeking or imposing its own previously requested injunction blocking him from engaging in future financial manipulations.
And he wants the state to pay Lamb’s attorney’s fees, too.
Ferguson’s office had no immediate comment on the pleading. But judging by this answer and its counterclaims, it seems that we are headed for a trial.
Whether that trial will take place in Thurston County, where the state filed its lawsuit, remains to be seen, as Eyman is objecting to the venue.
It’s true Eyman doesn’t live in Thurston County. But Eyman is in Thurston County frequently and has actually filed his own actions in Thurston County Superior Court representing himself. We imagine that Eyman is only contending that Thurston County is an inconvenient, inappropriate venue for this suit because he wants to continue to delay a potential judgment against him for as long as possible.
Fifteen years ago, when then-Attorney General Chris Gregoire sued Eyman for concealing payments to himself and failing to file truthful reports, Eyman’s attorney negotiated a settlement, in which Eyman agreed to never again to serve as a campaign treasurer. The settlement was announced in July of 2002.
This time, though, Eyman wants to play hardball and drag everything out.
He’s up against a very tough opponent in Ferguson.
Having successfully taken on defendants like Donald Trump and the Grocery Manufacturers Association in the courts, Ferguson is unlikely to back down. And that’s a good thing, because Eyman’s conduct has been atrocious.
Eyman has repeatedly refused to clean up his act despite having been given many opportunities to do so. He’s clearly not sorry for his behavior. It is vital that he be held accountable for his repeated lawbreaking by the courts.
Most of the answer Eyman submitted to the court consists of statements admitting to basic facts while denying all allegations of wrongdoing.
Eyman’s attorney Mark Lamb states in this pleading that Eyman and his limited liability company (“Watchdog For Taxpayers”) will present a number of counterclaims and affirmative defenses. These are, in their words:
- Fault of a nonparty.
- Statute of limitations.
- Failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
- Unclean hands.
- Equitable Estoppel.
- Plaintiff’s claims violate the Defendant’s right to equal protection under the laws as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
- Plaintiff brings this suit in violation of the First Amendment to the United
States Constitution and Article I Section 5 of the Washington State Constitution by asserting a vague and ambiguous interpretation of RCW 42.17A (including but not limited to 42.17A.445) which does not apply to Defendant’s conduct in this case.
- The relief sought by Plaintiff violates the Defendants’ rights under Article 1 Section 4 & Article II Section 1 of the Washington State Constitution which enshrines the right of the people to petition and reserves for the citizens of this state the power of initiative.
- The relief sought by Plaintiff violates the Defendants’ rights under the First
Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I Section 5 of the Washington State Constitution which grants the citizens of this state the right to freely speak, write and publish on all subjects.
“Defendant reserves the right to assert additional Affirmative Defenses as the facts and circumstances of Plaintiff’s Complaint are more fully determined through discovery,” the pleading adds.
The other defendants in the suit — William Agazarm and Citizen Solutions — have yet to file an answer to the state’s lawsuit. In the past, they have also been represented by Mark Lamb, but it’s possible they have now retained their own counsel.
Look for more analysis from NPI regarding this case in the days to come.