The distribution of money from a massive chicken and tuna price-fixing settlement has landed a complaint against WA State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

The complaint claims Ferguson is listed as the payer of the refunds

    About 400,000 lower-income families in WA state will receive varying amounts in the form of a check from the WA State settlement against 19 companies. The lawsuit claimed they colluded to artificially raise, or fix, prices over a multi-year period.

The $40.6 million that will be distributed to WA state residents will be in checks of either $50 or $120, depending on their household income.

However, according to the complaint, by way of The Center Square, the checks being mailed list "Bob Ferguson" as the payer. A letter accompanies the check, and part of it reads:

 "one of my top priorities is protecting consumers from fraud and deception. When corporations do not play by the rules, my team and I take action. I am returning the money to Washingtonians, like you, who were harmed by their illegal conduct."

The complaint says that is an illegal use of public money. It says Ferguson has committed a "blatant violation" of state campaign finance laws, by making it look like he is the payer, and including a letter touting his "virtues," since he is running for Governor.

The complaint letter says (in part):

"Bob Ferguson decided to send checks to hundreds of thousands or millions of lower-income people, giving them a portion of the settlement with chicken and tuna companies," the complaint states. "He put his names on the check as the payer, AND he attached a letter to the checks that is blatant and illegal campaigning with public funds." (via The Center Square).

The AG's office issued a statement saying when such refunds are distributed to citizens, it has been a long-standing practice the checks are signed off on by the AG, and letters are sent to explain where the money came from and why.

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The Center Square reports if the State Ethics Boards finds this to be a violation, it could potentially cost Ferguson's campaign millions of dollars in fines.

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