Tim Eyman allegedly stole a $70 chair from an Office Depot

Surveillance video shows him rolling the chair out the door. He says he can explain.

Professional ballot-initiative sponsor Tim Eyman, who has been battling the state of Washington over alleged campaign-finance violations and recently filed for bankruptcy, is under investigation for a theft from an office supply store in the city of Lacey, near the state capital.

He allegedly left an Office Depot store on Wednesday with a $70 chair without paying. Surveillance video released by the Lacey Police Department clearly shows Eyman, dressed in a red shirt bearing the words “Let The Voters Decide,” rolling the chair out the front door from the vestibule, where it was on display.

In an emailed statement Friday, Eyman seemed to imply that the alleged theft was a misunderstanding.

“I just called the Lacey Office Depot who referred me to the Lacey Police Department,” Eyman wrote. “I am expecting a call from the officer in charge to explain what happened. I will cooperate fully in this process and will do whatever is required of me.”

Lacey police, who said they had been unable to reach Eyman, confirmed that he called and said investigators intend to interview him.

A police report released Friday says a misdemeanor theft case has been referred to prosecutors.

Eyman, who has promoted tax-cutting ballot initiatives for many years, is now promoting a measure on the November ballot, Initiative 976, which would reduce vehicle license renewal fees to $30, among other changes.

In the police report, the investigating officer wrote that Eyman came to the Office Depot to exchange a printer, purchased at a different store, for two other printers. A clerk who helped Eyman told police that he was busy for a time helping another customer when Eyman left the store with the chair.

In this photo taken Feb. 13, anti-tax initiative promoter Tim Eyman (center) waits before speaking during a public hearing of the Senate State Government, Tribal Relations, and Elections Committee at the Capitol in Olympia. Eyman is under investigation for the theft of a $70 office chair from an Office Depot store in Lacey later in the day while wearing the same shirt he wore for his testimony before the committee. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

In this photo taken Feb. 13, anti-tax initiative promoter Tim Eyman (center) waits before speaking during a public hearing of the Senate State Government, Tribal Relations, and Elections Committee at the Capitol in Olympia. Eyman is under investigation for the theft of a $70 office chair from an Office Depot store in Lacey later in the day while wearing the same shirt he wore for his testimony before the committee. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Eyman allegedly returned to the store to pay for the two printers and a print job, and the clerk used a dolly to take the printers to Eyman’s car.

“When we got to his vehicle … he insisted I leave the printers on the ground next to his vehicle because he needed to rearrange a few things,” the clerk said in a written statement to police. “I gave him my Office Depot business card and went back inside.”

Eyman was a longtime Mukilteo resident, but a shipping label for the first printer, included with the police report, shows a Bellevue address. When he revealed in November that he was filing for bankruptcy, Eyman said he and his wife were getting a divorce.

His legal troubles began with a lawsuit filed in 2017. The state attorney general claims Eyman secretly moved campaign money between two initiatives in 2012 and that he received hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks from a signature-gathering vendor. A trial date has been set for January 2020.

Reporter Jerry Cornfield contributed to this story.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee speaks with special ed Pre-K teacher Michelle Ling in her classroom at Phantom Lake Elementary School in Bellevue, Wash. Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times via AP, Pool)
Governor: Educators are now eligible for coronavirus vaccine

“This should give educators more confidence,” Jay Inslee said. Other frontline workers could soon be next.

A view of the courtyard leading to the main entrance of the new Stanwood High building on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2020 in Stanwood, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Law gives Washington high school seniors leeway to graduate

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill that can waive some requirements for students who were on track before the pandemic.

About a dozen metal dinosaurs sit in the front yard of a home owned by Burt Mason and Mary Saltwick on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 in Freeland, Washington. The couple are used to finding strangers in their yard and taking photos. Every year on their trip to Tucson, Burt and Mary bring home another figure  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Dinos on Whidbey? This Freeland yard is a Jurassic Park

These creatures from long ago won’t chomp or chase you, and you’re welcome to visit.

Maryville Getchell High School students Madison Dawson, left, Kaden Vongsa and Jenasis Lee, who made a presentation to their school board discussing mental health, lack of resources and personal stories of their peers mental health struggles. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Students plead for better mental health support from schools

Three Marysville Getchell seniors want more counselors and improved training for staff.

Parked tractor-trailers line the side of 40th Avenue NE on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021 in Marysville, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Worker wonders why dead end Marysville road is rough and rutty

A stretch of 40th Avenue NE is mostly used for heavy trucking and isn’t in line for repairs soon.

Camano Island shooting leaves father dead; son arrested

Dominic Wagstaff, 21, was taken into custody late Sunday for investigation of the murder of Dean Wagstaff, 41.

Jean Shumate (left), seen here during a February 2019 school board meeting, will retire June 30 after 20 years at the Stanwood-Camano School District superintendent. (Skagit Valley Herald)
Stanwood-Camano superintendent to retire after 20 years

Jean Shumate has been at the helm longer than any other superintendent in Snohomish County.

A boy raises his hand during a lesson at Starbright Early Learning Center on Friday, June 5, 2020 in Everett. The Snohomish County Council is expected to vote Wednesday on a measure that would add early learning centers to a spending plan for the Puget Sound Taxpayer Accountability Account. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)
County Council proposes to address a big pre-K learning gap

Members are rethinking how to spend earmarked education money to “make a real difference.”

Mark Mulligan / The Herald
Sunset Falls cascades down past the existing fish ladder along the Skykomish River east of Index, February 4, 2014.
Photo taken 20140214
New hatchery on Skykomish to end practice of importing fish

A plan to capture fish from Sunset Falls near Index and release them in the river is open for public comment.

Most Read