Bankruptcy judge orders Eyman to pay $270K in contempt fines

SEATTLE -- Tim Eyman, the anti-tax voter initiative promoter and Republican candidate for governor, has until April 19 to pay $270,000 in fines and attorneys’ fees accumulated for refusing to follow court orders in a Washington state campaign finance case.

The payment is due as part of a new plan approved by a federal bankruptcy court judge, The Seattle Times reported. Eyman owes over $340,000 in contempt sanctions and related costs and has paid about $60,000, according to a news release by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

Sanctions continue to grow. The new bankruptcy plan also will require Eyman to pay $10,000 a month starting in May and more next year, until his debts have been satisfied, the attorney general said.

“This order reflects the significance of the contempt Tim Eyman has shown the court and public,” Ferguson said.

The debts stem from a lawsuit Ferguson brought that says Eyman has spent years laundering political donations, accepting kickbacks and taking campaign donations for personal use. The judge in that case has slapped Eyman and his company, Watchdog for Taxpayers, with contempt of court fines for not producing documents related to the matter.

In an emailed statement, Eyman’s lawyer Richard Sanders noted the payment-plan order didn’t deal with the merits of the Thurston County case and blamed the contempt sanctions on Eyman being overwhelmed before he had a lawyer.

Eyman filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018. The Seattle Times reported this year he had been spending nearly $24,000 on movies, meals out and Starbucks cards, according to his bankruptcy filings.

In an emailed statement, Eyman described the Thurston County case as a “campaign reporting dispute” and accused Ferguson of unjustly targeting him.