On November 2, 2021, a complaint was filed with the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) against the 2021 Joshua Binda Campaign alleging violations of RCW 42.17A.235(6) for failing to timely make the campaign books of account available for public inspection, and WAC 390-16-043(6) for failing to provide the “underlying source documents such as receipts, invoices, copies of contribution checks, copies of canceled checks for expenditures, notes, or other documentation concerning expenditures, orders placed, and loans.”
On October 29 and November 1, 2021, two additional complaints were filed with the PDC against the Joshua Binda Campaign alleging violations of RCW 42.17A.235 and 240 by failing to timely and accurately provide the required expenditure details for Campaign related expenditures disclosed on the Campaign’s Summary Full Report of Contributions and Expenditures (C-4 reports). The complainants also alleged a violation of RCW 42.17A.445, claiming that Mr. Binda made expenditures using Campaign funds for activities that were not directly related to his candidacy for Lynnwood City Council.
On January 20, 2022, the PDC conducted an Initial Hearing (Case Review Status) and opened a formal investigation against the 2021 Joshua Binda Campaign.
An Adjudicative Proceeding (Enforcement Hearing) before the Full Commission was conducted on January 26, 2023, in which Mr. Binda participated by telephone.
The Commission found that Joshua Binda, a first-time candidate seeking the office of Lynnwood City Council in 2021, violated: (1) RCW 42.17A.445 and WAC 390-16-238 by making multiple expenditures using 2021 Joshua Binda for Lynnwood City Council Campaign (Campaign) funds for goods or services that were not directly related to the Campaign, and so were personal in nature; and (2) RCW 42.17.235 and .240 by failing to timely file the 2021 Post-General Election Summary Full Campaign Contribution and Expenditure report (C-4 report) disclosing contribution and expenditure activities undertaken by the Campaign.
The Commission assessed a civil penalty of $1,000 with $500 suspended against Joshua Binda, based on on the following conditions: (1) The non-suspended portion ($500) of the $1,000 civil penalty for improper personal use of campaign funds and the failure to timely file the C-4 report for 2021 in violation of RCW 42.17A.445 and RCW 42.17A.235 and .240, respectively, is paid by the Respondent within 30 days of the date of this Final Order; (2) Mr. Binda remains in full compliance with all PDC reporting requirements and is not found to have committed any further violations of Chapter 42.17A RCW or Title 390 WAC within four years of the date of this Final Order; and (3) The suspended penalty shall not be assessed based solely upon any remediable violation, minor violation, or error classified by the Commission as appropriate to address by a technical correction.
If the Respondent fails to meet the conditions in Section III(1) of this order within 30 days of the date of this order, the suspended portion of the penalty shall immediately become due and the matter may be sent to collection or brought to Superior Court as allowed by law without further action by the Commission.
The following is the information contained in the Notice of Administrative Charges issued by PDC Staff:
On February 27, 2021, Joshua Binda, a first-time candidate for public office, filed a Candidate Registration declaring his candidacy for Lynnwood City Council, Position 3. Mr. Binda selected the Full Reporting Option, and listed Kyler Parris as the Campaign Manager and himself as the Treasurer.
Mr. Binda improperly used $2,742.49 in Campaign funds for the following non-Campaign related expenditures: (1) Versace - $1,563.58; (2) Dental - $326.90; (3) Necklace - $88.00; (4) Haircut - $163.00; (5) Tickets - $91.25; (6) Airfare - $260.60; (7) Haircut - $65.00; and (8) Vivid seats - $184.16.
Mr. Binda used his personal funds to reimburse his Campaign for the non-campaign related expenditures listed above. Mr. Binda’s personal contributions included two candidate reimbursements totaling $967.59 that were made more than seven weeks prior to the time several PDC complaints were filed against him, as well as prior to the November 2, 2021, general election date. The contributions included: (1) $185 contributed on September 15, 2021; and (2) $782.59 contributed on September 21, 202. Mr. Binda made another $1,975.50 contribution to his Campaign on October 31, 2021, three days prior to the November 2, 2021, general election date. In total, Mr. Binda used personal funds to reimburse his Campaign a total of $2,913.09.
Separately, as a candidate under the Full Reporting option appearing on the 2021 general election ballot, Mr. Binda was required to file a Post-General Election C-4 report no later than December 10, 2021, covering the period from October 26 through November 30, 2021.
On September 16, 2022, the Campaign filed a combined C-4 report that included contribution and expenditure activities covering the period of October 26 through November 30, 2021, and December 1 through 31, 2021.
The C-4 report disclosed $2,390.50 in monetary contributions received; two in-kind contributions received totaling $453.49; and no expenditures made or orders-placed. The Post-General Election C-4 report was filed 280 days late in violation of RCW 42.17A.235 and .240.