Records of Christine O’Donnell tax snooping disappear

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But Ms. O’Donnell told The Times last week that when investigators alerted her in January that her confidential tax records were breached three years ago, they told her the date was March 9, 2010.

That date was the same day Ms. O'Donnell scheduled a news conference to announce her Senate run. It’s also the same date the IRS admitted the lien against her was mistakenly generated by a computer and sent to Delaware.

The Times reported last week that the Treasury inspector general for tax administration had discovered at least four cases in which a candidate’s or donor’s tax information was inappropriately searched.

In one case, the investigator said the violation was willful and referred it to the Justice Department, which declined to pursue the case.

Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said last week he was baffled that the Justice Department declined to prosecute a government employee who apparently knowingly pried into tax records of a political candidate or donor, and that there should be a way for victims to know their rights have been violated.

Delaware state officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but Patrick Carter, director of the state’s division of revenue, said last week that they believe employee “properly conducted a review of federal tax records.” Mr. Carter identified the employee as David Smith, an auditor.

“A state Division of Revenue investigator accessed records on or after March 20, 2010, following information that came to the attention of the division,” Mr. Carter said in a statement. “The record access led the state revenue investigator to conclude there was no basis for further state investigation of a taxpayer and no action was taken by the state Division of Revenue against the taxpayer.”

He said that his division reviewed the accessing in December and “again found state access of the records of the taxpayer was part of a typical review and was not improper.”

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