OLYMPIA, Wash. (Legal Newsline) — Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced March 1 that Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) has been ordered to pay close to $1.1 million in costs and fees from Ferguson’s campaign finance lawsuit.
GMA had been penalized $18 million after allegations it intentionally violated the state’s campaign finance laws. This monetary judgment represents the largest campaign finance judgment in Washington’s history.
“GMA willfully disregarded Washington state campaign finance laws,” Ferguson said. “The record-setting penalty illustrates how egregious GMA’s conduct was. It has been a multiyear effort to hold them accountable.”
Judge Anne Hirsch of the Thurston County Superior Court ordered GMA to pay the state’s requested attorney fees. She also ordered the association to pay litigation and investigation costs.
“The state asks for over a million dollars in fees and costs,” Hirsch said in her ruling. “GMA presents three challenges to the state’s cost bill. The court rejects those challenges and awards the fees and costs as requested.”