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Monday, November 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Washington

Firm told to pay $1 million after funneling money to Eyman

UPDATED: Tue., Oct. 1, 2019

Initiative activist Tim Eyman appears in Thurston County Superior Court, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019, in Olympia. (Ted S. Warren / AP)
Initiative activist Tim Eyman appears in Thurston County Superior Court, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019, in Olympia. (Ted S. Warren / AP)
Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A Thurston County Superior Court judge has ordered a for-profit signature-gathering firm and its principal to collectively pay more than $1 million for deceiving Washington state residents by funneling their campaign donations to activist Tim Eyman for Eyman’s personal use.

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the campaign finance lawsuit was filed in 2017 after Citizen Solutions and its principal, William Agazarm, unlawfully concealed a $308,185 payment to Eyman, an initiative activist who is known for introducing a $30 car-tab fee initiative.

The Seattle Times reports that in his order Monday, Judge James Dixon found that Agazarm “personally approved Citizen Solutions’ kickback payment” to Eyman, knowing that Eyman “planned to and, in fact, did use the funds for his own personal expenses and to support the signature gathering effort for a different Eyman-supported initiative.”

In ordering the sanctions, the court found the violations were egregious and warranted a substantial penalty, the statement from the Attorney General’s Office said.

In a statement Eyman didn’t address the judge’s ruling but said he was focused on passing his new $30 car tabs measure and raising money to be reimbursed for the money he said he loaned to get the measure qualified.

“This judgment reflects the serious and intentional violations of Washington’s campaign finance laws committed by Mr. Agazarm and Citizen Solutions,” Ferguson said in the statement. “Mr. Agazarm and Citizen Solutions knowingly participated in a scheme to hide how contributions to Tim Eyman’s campaigns were really being used.”

The Sept. 30 judgment orders Agazarm to pay $150,000 in civil penalties, Citizen Solutions, LLC to pay $150,000 in civil penalties and Agazarm and Citizen Solutions jointly to pay $117,500 in unpaid contempt sanctions and $622,255.67 in costs and fees.

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