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AG’s office files election-finance complaint against Kim Wyman

Tue, Oct 4, 2016

Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office has filed a complaint against the re-election campaign of Secretary of State Kim Wyman, alleging that Wyman missed deadlines in filing campaign-finance reports.

The issue was first raised by the state Democratic Party, which filed a citizen’s complaint against Wyman, a Republican. Ferguson, a Democrat, has been recused from the issue, a release from his office said.

Wyman said the charge was “not unexpected” and called it “another step in the process to resolve the minor errors disclosed by our campaign.”

 The complaint, filed Tuesday in Thurston County Superior Court, alleges that since 2013, Wyman’s campaign has repeatedly filed her campaign-finance reports late, and has collected donations that were then deposited into the campaign account late.

In May of this year the campaign filed 11 reports, totaling more than $30,000 in contributions, 10 days late.

Candidates are required to file monthly campaign-finance reports until five months before the general election, when they must file weekly reports.

Wyman had also filed late reports eight times in previous years, the complaint alleges. Those reports were anywhere from two days to nine months late.

Wyman had already self-reported the errors from this year, before Ferguson’s office received the complaint from state Democratic Party Chair Jaxon Ravens.

The state Public Disclosure Commission, which investigated those issues, wrote that they were “similar to those raised by hundreds of filers over the years.

“Very few of those instances have led to enforcement or to a complaint being filed,” PDC director Evelyn Fielding Lopez wrote.

Candidates are also required to deposit contributions within five days of receiving them. Wyman was late in depositing contributions several times since 2013, usually just by a few days, the complaint says.

Wyman said that a new employee was brought into the campaign to help with campaign-finance reports and there have been no issues since that change was made.

Wyman, who was first elected in 2012, is running for re-election against Democrat Tina Podlodowski.

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