State watchdog says Owen violated campaign laws

OLYMPIA — Washington state’s election watchdog says Lt. Gov. Brad Owen violated campaign finance laws after failing to timely submit reports.

Documents released Friday show that Public Disclosure Commission staff members say Owen’s campaign was several months late on some of its 2011 filings. Those reports eventually document tens of thousands of dollars of contributions and expenditures.

The PDC also said Owen failed to file reports for a few years for a surplus account that he maintained.

Owen said most of the issues covered in the PDC investigation were not actually late filings or that the delays were caused by technical issues. He said the PDC also gave guidance on the surplus money that led him to believe that reporting was unnecessary.

PDC officials said they are negotiating with Owen’s campaign over whether there will be a fine and the potential size of the fine.

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