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Tim Eyman defaults on court-ordered payments

Initiative promoter Tim Eyman on the steps of the Washington Supreme Court wearing a red T-shirt that says, "Exercise your right to vote" in white capital letters.
Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network file
Initiative promoter Tim Eyman on the steps of the Washington Supreme Court after oral arguments in a lawsuit to overturn his supermajority requirement for tax hikes.

Court documents show that initiative promoter Tim Eyman, who earlier this year was found liable for years of violations of Washington’s campaign finance laws and was fined $2.6 million, has not made his last two monthly payments on that fine and is now in default.

The Seattle Times reports Eyman is under a court-ordered plan that requires him to make $10,000 monthly payments to pay down the fine and other debts to the state.

He has not paid for either September or October, Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office wrote in documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington.

Eyman filed for bankruptcy three years ago, saying at the time that Ferguson’s lawsuit against him, accusing him of the campaign finance violations, had crippled his finances.

Ferguson has requested that a Chapter 11 trustee be appointed who would have the power to make payments from Eyman’s estate and would be able to sell Eyman’s house and distribute the proceeds to his debtors, notably the state.

“Eyman’s unwillingness to be transparent in his financial dealings and his decision to simply stop making payments without explanation requires appointment of a trustee,” Ferguson wrote in court documents.

Eyman, in an email, said he “spent last of the money” paying his lawyer to appeal the judgment against him.

“It drained me dry,” he wrote in a fundraising plea in July, calling the case a “gross injustice and abuse of power.”

“The Attorney General’s scorched earth approach throughout this protracted eight and half years of ‘investigation’ and litigation against Mr. Eyman has financially ruined him,” Eyman’s attorney, Richard Sanders, wrote in an appeal to the state Supreme Court in August. “Everything he’s earned in his lifetime is gone.”

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.

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