Tim Eyman frowns
Tim Eyman frowns at a press conference in Olympia (Photo: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

Dis­graced ini­tia­tive pro­mot­er and pet­ty thief Tim Eyman has been charged with mis­de­meanor theft by the City of Lacey after steal­ing Bren­ton Stu­dios May­hart chair that was in the vestibule of the Office Depot on Sleater Kin­ney Road South­east last Wednes­day. Eyman, fifty-three, has got­ten him­self a crim­i­nal defense attor­ney and is now try­ing to argue that he’s inno­cent because he did­n’t mean to take the chair.

“I did not… walk into an Office Depot in Lacey wear­ing a bright red ‘Let The Vot­ers Decide’ t‑shirt, smile for the cam­eras, and steal a sev­en­ty dol­lar chair just moments before spend­ing $300 on two print­ers and after get­ting some life-chang­ing good news,” said Eyman in a sworn dec­la­ra­tion filed by his attorneys.

“The rea­son that doesn’t make any sense is because it doesn’t make any sense. It’s ridicu­lous, it’s insane, it’s com­plete­ly unbe­liev­able,” Eyman added.

Actu­al­ly, what’s ridicu­lous, insane, and com­plete­ly unbe­liev­able is Eyman’s attempt to claim that he did­n’t com­mit a crime because he did­n’t mean to com­mit a crime.

The fact is, Eyman took a chair from the Office Depot in Lacey and put it in his car with­out pay­ing for it. That’s theft. That’s against the law.

Eyman is a well known, shame­less liar and a ser­i­al, unapolo­getic vio­la­tor of pub­lic dis­clo­sure laws, so his sworn state­ment is worth­less. But even sup­pos­ing he was sin­cere, his intent is irrel­e­vant. His actions are what matter.

Tim Eyman is a fifty-three year old man. He knows, or should know, that you don’t take goods out of a store with­out pay­ing for them. You pay for your items before you take the mer­chan­dise out to your vehi­cle, not before. If an item is out­side the store entrance, you take it inside with you, pay for it, and then walk out with it.

If Eyman did­n’t mean to steal a chair, why did­n’t he come back to the store and pay for it? A police offi­cer in the employ of the City of Lacey called Eyman the same day that he stole the chair to speak with him. The offi­cer states in his report:

I attempt­ed to con­tact Eyman via tele­phone, [num­ber redact­ed], but no one answered and so I left a voice [mes­sage] with my request for a return call.

Eyman knew, or should have known, by the end of the day on Wednes­day that the police were inves­ti­gat­ing his thiev­ing. He could have imme­di­ate­ly attempt­ed to make amends with an apol­o­gy and pay­ment for the chair he stole. But appar­ent­ly it was­n’t until Fri­day, when Eyman’s crime had hit the news, that Eyman took action.

In a state­ment sent to reporters, Eyman stat­ed he had called Office Depot and then the Lacey police, pledg­ing to “coop­er­ate ful­ly” and “do what­ev­er is required of me”.

Fast for­ward to today, and Eyman is now claim­ing he did­n’t do any­thing wrong because well, gosh, he did­n’t mean to. One of his two attor­neys, Casey Arbenz, actu­al­ly said: “We’ve all made those types of mis­takes.” Laaaaaaame!

Theft is theft. Not “acci­den­tal removal”, as Eyman’s attor­neys are call­ing it.

It has now been almost a week since this theft took place. Tim Eyman has had plen­ty of time to either return the chair he stole or pay for it.

His lawyers claim that they reached out to the Office Depot to make amends. But it appears that the chair has still not been returned or paid for yet.

The Wash­ing­ton State Repub­li­can Par­ty is cur­rent­ly in the busi­ness of mak­ing excus­es for Don­ald Trump, so we don’t expect them or the many right wing orga­ni­za­tions in its orbit to break up with Eyman. But we sure wish they would.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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