September 24, 2020

The Public Disclosure Commission Thursday voted unanimously to fine former Bothell Mayor Joshua Freed $50,000 – with half the penalty suspended – for campaign violations related to personal loans to his unsuccessful 2020 campaign for governor. 

Freed acknowledged in a stipulation negotiated with PDC staff that he exceeded the $6,000 limit on repayment of a personal loan to his campaign. The campaign repaid him at least $450,000 of a $500,000 loan  –  later characterized as a contribution – he made at the start of his campaign. He also acknowledged that the campaign filed incorrect reports concerning the contribution and/or loan. 

The stipulation cited aggravating factors in the case, noting that the loans and/or contributions made up the majority of Freed’s campaign funds and that the public was deprived of significant information for a good portion of the 2020 primary election cycle. 

Freed lost in the gubernatorial primary election, but subsequently launched a write-in campaign for the office of lieutenant governor. 

The Commission suspended half of the $50,000 fine, provided that the remaining $25,000 is paid within 60 days of its final order being issued, that Freed commits no further violations of campaign law or regulation within four years and that he complies with PDC reporting requirements. 

Read more about the case in PDC documents online