Disgraced initiative promoter Tim Eyman has made a deal with the City of Lacey to resolve the misdemeanor theft charge that was filed against him after he was caught stealing a chair from the Office Depot on Sleater Kinney Road in February — an incident that resulted in a massive round of negative publicity for Eyman.
Eyman’s chair theft was immortalized on video by a store security camera. The footage shows Eyman sitting down in a Brenton Studios Mayhart chair in the store’s vestibule, spinning around, then standing up and wheeling the chair out of the store to his vehicle without first taking it to the counter to pay for it.
Eyman and his attorneys have laughably tried to characterize the theft as “a misunderstanding” and “an honest mistake”. Eyman has (not credibly) argued he didn’t pay for the chair because he was on the phone and distracted after he returned to the store. He has never explained why he didn’t simply just walk over to the counter and buy the chair prior to going out to his car.
Eyman was charged by the City of Lacey with theft the following week.
The maximum penalty for the crime Eyman committed — a gross misdemeanor — is up to one year in jail and a five thousand dollar fine.
Eyman’s settlement allows him to avoid jail time, but he was required to pay a fine to settle the case, which he did before leaving the courthouse.
The terms of the deal stipulate that the theft charge will be dismissed if Eyman stays out of trouble (meaning, more specifically, that he doesn’t commit another crime) during the next nine months. Eyman is also required to stay away from the Lacey Office Depot — but, presumably, he can do business at other Office Depots.
(Records filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Western Washington show that Eyman has been making purchases at other Office Depot locations within the past few weeks, including in Bellevue.)
Eyman also acknowledges the “accuracy and admissibility” of the report of his chair theft prepared by the City of Lacey’s police department.
Should Eyman violate the terms of the agreement, there would be a stipulated facts trial, wherein the facts against Eyman would be presented in Thurston County District Court through the reading of the police report by a judge. Eyman would be barred from introducing evidence of his own or calling witnesses.
Eyman remains a defendant in the State of Washington’s principal multi-year campaign finance enforcement lawsuit against him and his associates. He is also working to finalize his divorce from his wife Karen in Snohomish County.
Eyman moved out of his Mukilteo family home in December, according to documents filed with the bankruptcy court, and into a condo in downtown Bellevue owned by his soon-to-be ex-wife’s sister Carol Williams.
Eyman has an initiative on the November 2019 ballot, Initiative 976, which would wipe out transportation funding at the state, regional, and local levels. The Keep Washington Rolling coalition (of which NPI is a member) is working to defeat I‑976. Eyman is also currently trying to qualify a measure to the 2020 Legislature that would slap a one year expiration date on future revenue reforms. Eyman failed to qualify an identical measure for the 2019 ballot three weeks ago.