Washington Federation of State Employees (AFSCME Council 28) Separate Segregated Fund: Alleged violations of Chapter 42.17A RCW for failure to register and report as a political committee (EY 16; Jan 20)




Washington Federation of State Employees (AFSCME Council 28) Separate Segregated Fund


Maxford Nelsen


A complaint was filed alleging that the  Washington Federation of State Employees - AFSCME Council 28 Separate Segregated Fund (WSFE) may have violated: (1) RCW 42.17A.205 by failing to register as a political committee with a designated depository and treasurer; and (2) RCW 42.17A.235 and .240 for failing to timely and accurately report contributions and expenditures as required for a political committee.

On April 1, 2020,  PDC staff opened a formal investigation and held an Initial Hearing (Case Status Review Hearing) pursuant to RCW 42.17A.755, and WACs 390-37-060 and 390-37-071 concerning the WSFE.

In the response, WFSE stated that the Freedom Foundation has provided no evidence indicating that the $200,000 in question was deposited into WFSE’s Separate Segregated Fund (SSF).  WSFE's legal counsel confirmed the $200,000 from American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Special Account (AFSCME), was deposited into WFSE’s member dues account, which is the primary account used by WFSE to pay for all of its representational and operational expenses.   

Based on the information, PDC staff found no evidence requiring further inquiry into whether WFSE's SSF was acting as a political committee. In addition, there is no evidence that the $200,000 in AFSCME funds received by WFSE was deposited into the SSF, such that further inquiry is necessary as to whether the SSF was a political committee as a receiver of contributions. 

PDC staff dismissed this matter in accordance with RCW 42.17A.755(1). 



Case Closed with No Evidence of Violations

Date Opened

January 06, 2020

Areas of Law

RCW 42.17A.205, RCW 42.17A.210, RCW 42.17A.215, RCW 42.17A.225, RCW 42.17A.235, RCW 42.17A.240

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