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Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019

Tim Eyman loses again in court as Judge James Dixon declines to reconsider sanctions

Disgraced initiative promoter Tim Eyman has lost another court battle.

Thurston County Superior Court Judge James Dixon today denied Eyman’s motion to reconsider his previous ruling imposing new sanctions and denied Eyman’s request for a further stay in the proceedings.

The motion was Eyman’s latest attempt to postpone his day of reckoning through a stonewalling in the extreme legal strategy. He is being sued by Attorney General Bob Ferguson for egregious violations of Washington’s public disclosure laws.

Eyman’s associates have already been found guilty in the case (No. 17-2-01546-34) and fined more than $1 million for their role in covertly funneling money back into Eyman’s pockets in the form of kickbacks.

Eyman, meanwhile, has been in contempt of court for more than a year because he refuses to turn over records the State is seeking to prove that he broke the law. Eyman’s blatant disregard of the Court’s lawful discovery orders has infuriated the attorneys working to hold Eyman accountable as well as the case’s Special Master, retired Thurston Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor.

Because Eyman is in contempt, he’s racking up daily monetary fines.

But those fines have not motivated him to comply.

So Ferguson sought the imposition of additional, non-monetary sanctions.

Last month, state attorneys convinced Dixon to reclassify seven years of “gifts” and other income that went into Eyman’s pockets as reportable campaign contributions as an additional sanction upon Eyman. As a consequence of that decision, Eyman is now faced with having to break his promises to his wealthy benefactors, whom he assured could remain anonymous if they gave money to him personally, as opposed to donating to one of his initiative factory’s committees.

The prospect of having to report who has been writing checks to his personal purse has frightened Eyman. That’s why he asked Dixon to reconsider his decision ordering that Eyman’s “gifts” be reported as campaign contributions.

Eyman also requested a stay in the case, as mentioned, to buy himself more time.

Eyman is petitioning U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Marc Barreca to allow former State Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders (who always voted against striking down Eyman initiatives that were clearly unconstitutional) to represent him as his new legal counsel, after having spent months as a pro se defendant.

State attorneys Eric S. Newman, S. Todd Sipe, and Paul M. Crisalli wrote a powerful brief shredding Eyman’s request for a reconsideration.

“The State has waited a long time for justice in this matter because of Defendant Eyman’s antics,” their brief notes. “The State is still awaiting that justice. There is nothing unjust about a discovery sanction against a defendant who defied this Court’s orders and his discovery obligations for two years, especially when the discovery violations continue even after the sanction. The Court’s order is only the first step toward the State’s finally having the issues in this case resolved. Defendant Eyman’s hollow gesture does not change anything.”

With respect to Eyman’s efforts to bring Richard Sanders on board to represent him, the state’s attorneys observed:

“Defendant Eyman chose to proceed without an attorney for eight months. He
intentionally avoided hiring an attorney so that he could falsely tell this Court and the Special Discovery Master that his failure to respond to discovery was out of ignorance, not defiance. He repeatedly claimed that it was the State that was preventing him from getting a lawyer, despite that assertion being patently false.”

Not only did Ferguson’s office not prevent Eyman from getting a lawyer, it repeatedly advised him in writing to obtain a new attorney, and objected to the withdrawal of Eyman’s previous counsel, Joel Ard.

You can read their brief in its entirety here:

State of Washington's opposition to motion to reconsider non-monetary sanctions

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