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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 28th, 2017

Judge denies Eyman associate’s motion to dismiss campaign finance enforcement suit

Tim Eyman’s asso­ciates William Agazarm and Cit­i­zen Solu­tions will remain defen­dants in a $2.1 mil­lion cam­paign finance enforce­ment law­suit against Eyman’s ini­tia­tive fac­to­ry, Thurston Coun­ty Supe­ri­or Court Judge James Dixon ruled today.

Agazarm and Cit­i­zen Solu­tions had asked Dixon to dis­miss the law­suit against them and award their lawyer Mark Lamb (who also rep­re­sents Eyman) attor­ney’s fees.

“The State’s com­plaint is replete with sound and fury direct­ed at Mr. Eyman, but at its con­clu­sion there is no basis in the cit­ed statutes to hold Defen­dants Cit­i­zen [Solu­tions] and Agazarm liable for his alleged con­duct. According[ly], we respect­ful­ly request the court dis­miss the State’s pros­e­cu­tion for fail­ure to state a claim and grant attor­ney’s fees and costs to Defen­dants Agazarm and Cit­i­zen [Solu­tions] pur­suant to RCW 42.17A.765(5),” Lamb wrote in his pleading.

But Dixon refused the request, issu­ing an oral rul­ing deny­ing their motion.

The State main­tains that Agazarm and Cit­i­zen Solu­tions aid­ed Eyman in his law­break­ing and there­fore need to be held accountable.

“Mr. Eyman mis­led the pub­lic and con­trib­u­tors who thought they were donat­ing to one ini­tia­tive, but instead were sup­port­ing Mr. Eyman’s per­son­al expens­es and a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent ini­tia­tive,” Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son said in a state­ment after the ver­dict. “That could not have hap­pened with­out the par­tic­i­pa­tion of Mr. Agazarm and Cit­i­zen Solu­tions. Today’s deci­sion is a vic­to­ry for trans­paren­cy, and allows the case to pro­ceed toward tri­al with all respon­si­ble parties.”

It has been near­ly five years since Sher­ry Bock­winkel filed the com­plaint with the Pub­lic Dis­clo­sure Com­mis­sion that led to this law­suit. The PDC took over six months to decide to inves­ti­gate, and then more than two years to con­duct the inves­ti­ga­tion. After find­ing mul­ti­ple seri­ous appar­ent vio­la­tions, the PDC referred the case to Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son for investigation.

Fer­gu­son’s office then spent more than a year con­duct­ing its own inves­ti­ga­tion before fil­ing a law­suit against Eyman, Agazarm, and Cit­i­zen Solu­tions back in March.

At every turn, the PDC and Fer­gu­son’s office were ham­pered by stonewalling in the extreme. State attor­neys were final­ly forced to go to court last sum­mer in an effort to get their civ­il orders enforced. They were suc­cess­ful, and the inves­ti­ga­tion resumed — at sig­nif­i­cant cost to Eyman and his asso­ciates.

Eyman con­tin­ues to deny wrong­do­ing and is try­ing to raise $600,000 for a legal defense fund to counter what he calls a “stun­ning witch hunt”. The Muk­il­teo based ini­tia­tive prof­i­teer says he’s bor­rowed against his house in order to seed the fund.

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