This Washington

Breaking: State SDCC Director Under Investigation for Stealing Party Money

Executive Director of State Senate Democrats under investigation for stealing from party.

By Josh Feit February 22, 2013


January SDCC expenditure report with thousands of dollars going to executive director Michael King

The state senate Democrats are investigating Michael King, the executive director of the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, for allegedly stealing money from the Democrats in recent months, PubliCola has learned.

King has been the executive director of the SDCC since 2011. King, now in his early 30s, led the Democrats' coordinated campaign in 2008 for the Washington State Democratic Party and then worked for Democratic consultant WinPower Strategies before taking over at the SDCC.

The state senate Democrats are investigating the executive director of the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee for allegedly stealing money from the Democrats, PubliCola has learned.

The SDCC raises money and funds Democratic candidates for the state senate. King allegedly was making curious polling reimbursements to himself during the last few months. 

We found more than $11,000 in payments from the SDCC to King in the month of January alone for polling and research.

Democratic consultant Christian Sinderman, who works for SDCC chair Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Seattle), confirmed the story to PubliCola tonight and said the case has been referred to the King County Prosecutor. He referred us to SDCC counsel at Pacifica Law Group.

We are are waiting for a statement for Pacifica.

We got King's voice mail when we called him for a comment tonight. Sources tell PubliCola King may have stolen as much as $100,000.

State Sen. Ed Murray, chair of the SDCC (D-43, Seattle), was not available for comment.

SDCC treasurer Jason Bennett, who says he discovered the situation, told PubliCola tonight: “I blew the whistle on this situation. Immediately after it was confirmed, I reported it to Democratic senate leadership, and they took swift legal action.”

10:45  PM, UPDATE: Pacifica Law Group sent us the following statement:

The Washington Senate Democratic Campaign Committee is investigating the potential misappropriations of funds by one of its employees. SDCC leaders first learned of the potential misappropriations on February 20 and took immediate action, retaining Pacifica Law Group, LLP to conduct an investigation and contact appropriate law enforcement authorities.

Pacifica's team, led by senior partner Paul Lawrence, is now coordinating with the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, the Seattle Police Department, and the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission on the investigation. At this time, Pacifica is gathering documents and conducting interviews to determine whether or not funds have been misappropriated, and to document the scope of the potential loss. Given the sensitive nature of the ongoing investigation and the potential for criminal charges, the SDCC cannot provide further details at this time.


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