OLYMPIA — Anti-tax initiative promoter Tim Eyman has reached a settlement on charges that he stole a $70 chair from an Office Depot store earlier this year.
The Seattle Times reported the agreement filed Tuesday in Thurston County District Court means the theft charge will be dismissed if Eyman doesn’t commit any crimes and stays away from the Lacey Office Depot for nine months.
Eyman, a former Mukilteo resident, agreed to the “accuracy and admissibility” of the police report. The charge, a gross misdemeanor, carried a penalty of up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Eyman declined to comment Thursday.
Surveillance video showed Eyman sitting in the chair in the store’s entryway in February, spinning it around a few times, and then walking it to the parking lot.
Eyman said he intended to pay for the chair, but received a call and became distracted.
A store video captured the moment.
In a written statement made a few days after the Feb. 13 incident, Eyman vigorously denied wrongdoing.
“I did not … walk into an Office Depot in Lacey wearing a bright red ‘Let The Voters Decide’ t-shirt, smile for the cameras, and steal a $70 chair just moments before spending $300 on 2 printers and after getting some life changing good news,” Eyman wrote. “The reason that doesn’t make any sense is because it doesn’t make any sense. It’s ridiculous, it’s insane, it’s completely unbelievable.
“As the video shows, I went back into the store to pay for it,” his statement continued. “That’s right, rather than hopping in my car for a daring get away after my successful bank heist, I walked back into the store and inserted my debit card into the chip reader (Jesse James I’m not).”
In a police report, the investigating officer wrote that Eyman came to the office supply store 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.
Eyman is seen on the video returning to the store. The report says he completed the transaction involving the two printers and paid for 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.”
According to the report, the store “provided physical receipts of the printer exchange and a suspended receipt for the value of the chair which were scanned into evidence.” The “suspended receipt” is time-stamped roughly two-and-a-half hours after the printer transaction.
Eyman’s legal issues aren’t over. He’s also battling the state of Washington over alleged campaign-finance violations and has filed for bankruptcy.