SEATTLE — Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson wants an additional $2.8 million in legal fees and costs related to his lawsuit against anti-tax initiative promoter Tim Eyman.
The lawsuit dragged on because of what Ferguson called Eyman’s “cost-inflating, frivolous, obstructive and defiant litigation tactics,” The Seattle Times reported.
Thurston County Superior Court Judge James Dixon already granted Ferguson’s office legal fees in the case when he ruled against Eyman last month. A hearing on Ferguson’s specific request for $2.8 million is scheduled for this week.
Eyman, in a fundraising email sent in response, said that last year the Attorney General’s Office, responding to a public records request, said it had spent $1.4 million on the case, through September 2020.
“Today Ferguson claims his political assault cost the taxpayers $2.8 million,” Eyman wrote. “Just another Ferguson lie.”
Eyman pays $10,000 to the state on the fifth of each month, as part of a court-approved payment plan, a total that will increase to $13,500 next year and continue for the foreseeable future.
On Twitter, Ferguson wrote that Eyman’s “antics and delay tactics” cost taxpayers millions. “I plan to collect.”
In a court filing Thursday, Ferguson produced an itemized bill that shows the lengths his office went to in its suit against Eyman.
In total, seven lawyers and staff spent 9,899.71 hours on the Eyman case, Ferguson said. That’s the equivalent of about 13.5 months, day and night. They billed at hourly rates ranging from $123 to $408.
The legal case against Eyman started in 2012, with an investigation by the state’s campaign finance watchdog, the Public Disclosure Commission.
A judge already ruled Eyman is no longer allows to have any financial control over political committees in a lawsuit filed by Ferguson in 2017.
Due to “avoidance tactics” the PDC had to issue 12 separate subpoenas to Eyman.
Voters in 2019 approved Eyman’s most recent ballot measure, Initiative 976, which would have gutted transportation budgets throughout the state by severely cutting fees for car registrations. The state Supreme Court unanimously struck it down as unconstitutional.