SEATTLE — Initiative promoter Tim Eyman, who earlier this year was found liable for years of violations of Washington’s campaign finance laws and owes the state more than $5 million, is facing the court-ordered sale of his assets.
Eyman is required to make monthly $10,000 payments to pay down his fine and other fees. He has missed his last four monthly payments.
The Seattle Times reports a U.S. bankruptcy judge last week found Eyman in default and ordered his bankruptcy case shifted from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7. Chapter 7 means the court appoints a trustee who will be responsible for selling Eyman’s assets and distributing the proceeds to his debtors, primarily the state of Washington.
Eyman filed for bankruptcy three years ago, saying at the time that Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s lawsuit against him, accusing him of the campaign finance violations, had crippled his finances.
Ferguson first sued Eyman in 2017, accusing him of enriching himself through myriad violations of the state’s campaign finance laws.
Earlier this year, a Thurston County judge found Eyman liable, fined him $2.6 million and barred him from controlling the finances of political committees in the future.
Eyman, in total, owes nearly $5.4 million to the state, a sum that includes $2.9 million that he was ordered to pay to cover the state’s attorney fees and costs over the nearly four-year lawsuit.
Under the terms of his bankruptcy payment plan, if he goes into default, Eyman’s full debt becomes immediately due and begins accruing interest at a rate of 12% annually.
“After paying more than $500,000 towards his legal obligations, Eyman chose to stop making his required monthly payments,” Ferguson said in a statement. “Eyman committed egregious campaign finance violations — there must be accountability.”
Eyman said he is “absolutely committed to appealing the AG’s ridiculously unconstitutional restrictions so what he’s doing to me and my family never happens to anyone else ever again.”
“The process has already been the punishment,” Eyman said in a statement. “The last 9 years of investigation and litigation has cost me everything I’ve ever earned in my lifetime.”
Eyman has spent decades running initiatives to lower taxes and advance conservative policies in Washington.