Lt. Gov. candidate: Didn’t head company with lien

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A spokesman for an Arkansas lieutenant governor’s office candidate said his boss was never the president of a company facing an IRS lien, but he acknowledged that tax and corporation records listing him as the head of the firm are genuine.

The IRS filed an $80,000 lien against a company led by John Burkhalter in November 2012. Burkhalter, a Democrat, is currently running for the lieutenant governor’s office.

Burkhalter spokesman Bryan Griffith told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper (http://bit.ly/1h2XDac ) that Burkhalter doesn’t owe the money and never was president of Burkhalter & Stevens. He later said Burkhalter was trying to resolve the matter.

Griffith said Burkhalter lent his name to the firm to give it credibility. He later acknowledged that tax and corporation records from 2010-2013 that list Burkhalter as president were genuine.

“These are authentic documents and are accurate in the respect that these forms must be filed with the signature of an ‘authorizing officer,’ and as last man standing in the company that had ceased business operations years earlier, outside accounting professionals listed John as president in the absence of any other officer in order to successfully close out the affairs of the company,” Griffith said.

The spokesman said Burkhalter never received any compensation from the company. In an interview with the newspaper, Burkhalter described himself as a “passive investor” in the company, which made insulated concrete forms for use in buildings, and that it “was a victim of the times in the downturn of the economy.”

The lien was blamed on payroll taxes being sent through an account with the wrong tax ID number. The company was dissolved a month after the lien was filed, the newspaper reported, and 14 months later the lien is still in place.

A spokesman for the IRS declined to comment on the lien.

At a news conference to announce a proposal to expand pre-kindergarten in Arkansas, Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Mike Ross, who endorsed Burkhalter last year and said the two would run as a ticket, declined to comment on the tax lien.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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