PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - Two teacher unions filed an $18 million lawsuit against anti-tax activist Bill Sizemore, claiming he siphoned money from his sham charity to fund four failed 2008 ballot measures. A 2003 court order forbade Sizemore from starting a nonprofit political action committee in Oregon for 5 years, after the court found that he ran a sham charity to finance his political activities. Last year, the court extended the order until 2013.
Sizemore fought the ruling, but the Oregon State Supreme Court in 2008 confirmed the $2.5 million award to the unions on their racketeering claims against Sizemore and his organizations.
Instead of complying with the injunction, teachers groups say, Sizemore set up another sham charity in Nevada, the American Tax Research Foundation, which operated only in Oregon. Sizemore allegedly used the Nevada company to finance the 2008 ballot measures.
The Oregon Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers - Oregon Issue Political Action Committee say they had to spend $5.4 million to defeat Sizemore's ballot measures.
They demand that money, and treble damages.
The unions also say Sizemore repeatedly lied under oath about his role in the foundation.
The unions also sued medical supply tycoon and Nevada resident Loren Parks, reportedly the largest individual donor to political causes in Oregon, claiming he funded most of the foundation's activities.
Parks reportedly splits his time between Nevada and Oregon.
Defendants include Parks, Sizemore and Parks' four companies: Parks Medical Electronics, Parks Medical Electronic Sales, Parks Foundation and the Parks Education Foundation.
The teachers groups are represented by Gregory Hartman Multnomah County Court.Follow @@karinapdx
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