Multiple violations alleged against King County Democrats’ Chair Bailey Stober
The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) filed a petition today in King County Superior Court seeking enforcement of a civil order issued in the state’s campaign finance investigation of King County Democratic Central Committee Chairman Bailey Stober.
The petition asserts that, despite several contacts, Stober has failed to produce complete records to Attorney General investigators in response to a civil order related to its investigation, and asks the court to force Stober to turn over the requested records.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson recused himself from any involvement in the matter.
On May 22, the AGO issued the civil order to Stober, seeking documents related to citizen action notices filed in March. The citizen letters allege multiple campaign finance violations both in Stober’s capacity as an employee of the King County Assessor’s Office and as a candidate. Stober did not turn them over. Then on June 2, Attorney General staff had a conversation with Stober about the requested documents and furnished him with another copy of the civil order.
On June 12, AGO staff interviewed Stober under oath at which time he was to have produced records. He did not do so. On June 19, AGO staff informed Stober if he did not produce the documents by June 21, the office would file its petition asking a court to force him to produce them. Stober supplied some of the requested records, but not all documents necessary to complete the investigation.
The AGO is seeking documents related to the allegations, which include:
- Failure to disclose debts and obligations for his 2015 campaign;
- Failure to timely disclose contributions and expenditures;
- Failure to maintain campaign records for five years, as required by law;
- Prohibited personal use of contributions; and
- Prohibited use of public facilities to assist a campaign or ballot proposition.
The requested documents include Stober’s 2015 campaign records, as well as records from his employer about his work schedule and attendance during 2016-2017.
In 2015, the Public Disclosure Commission levied a $4,000 penalty against Stober over campaign disclosure and recordkeeping violations related to two separate Kent City Council campaigns he ran in 2011 and 2013. Half of that penalty was suspended unless Stober committed further campaign finance violations within four years.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Linda Dalton and Assistant Attorney General Walter Smith are handling the case.
The Attorney General’s Office enforces the state’s campaign finance disclosure law to ensure free, open and fair elections in Washington state.
Stober posted this response to Twitter Friday afternoon.
Bailey Stober is currently serving as the chair of the King County Democrats. Elected in December 2016, Stober is the youngest chair in the county’s history and the first biracial chair. He also serves as the secretary of the Washington State Democratic Party Chair’s Organization. Stober is currently the Director of Communications and External Relations for King County Assessor John Wilson, serving as a strategic advisor to the Assessor and is chief spokesperson for an agency of 200+ employees. Previously, Stober serviced as the chair of the 47th District Democrats.
[Sources: Washington State Attorney General’s Office, King County Democrats and Twitter.]