Case #24624
Respondent name: John Koster
Complainant name: Walter Smith

The complaint alleged:

  • Allegation One: Violation of RCW 42.17A.445 for donation of campaign funds, not surplus funds, to House Republican Organizational Committee.
  • Allegation Two: Violation of RCW 42.17A.240 for failure to accurately and timely report debts and obligations.
  • Allegation Three: Violation of RCW 42.17A.235 for failure to accurately and timely report contributions and expenditures.

Staff found:

  • Since 1998, John Koster has served as either a state legislator or a member of the Snohomish County Council.  In July 2017, Rep. Koster resigned as a state legislator to pursue other interests.
  • (Alleged personal use of campaign funds) The final C-4 for the 2016 campaign included a $10,000 transfer to the House Republican Campaign Committee (HROC) that was erroneously listed as a contribution.  It was an acceptable use of surplus funds and not a personal use of campaign funds.
  • (Alleged failure to timely report orders, debts, and obligations) The expenditure on the 7 day pre-general election C-4 report to Minnick & Minnick on October 19, 2016 for mailings, totaling $8,504.57, likely should have been reported as an order placed on the 21 day pre-general election C-4 report.  This mistake appears to have been an inadvertent omission, or because the treasurer was unaware of that particular requirement.  
  • The candidate‚Äôs filing fee was paid by the candidate in May 2016, but was inadvertently not listed as a debt until he was reimbursed on July 29, 2016 .  
  • (Alleged failure to timely file C-3 and C-4 reports of contributions & expenditures) Of the ten alleged late-filed reports, nine were amended reports.  The original reports were timely filed, and the amended reports did not disclose material additional amounts or information.

Disposition: Case Closed with No Evidence of Violations (Resolved 06/17/2019)
Date opened: 09/05/2017
Area of Law: RCW 42.17A.235, RCW 42.17A.240, RCW 42.17A.445

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