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Las Vegas assemblywoman and taxation committee chair Michele Fiore says an employee who stole from her is at the root of tax liens filed against her and her companies in the past decade.
The Republican lawmaker and Assembly majority leader told Las Vegas conservative radio host Alan Stock on KDWN Tuesday that she has set up a payment plan and is now 100 percent in compliance with the Internal Revenue Service.
“I had a bookkeeper whom [sic] I trusted with my tax files and my tax obligations. Unfortunately it came to my attention that mistakes were made,” Fiore said, “Once we learned what was really going on my accountant and IRS and I came up with a fair and workable payment plan. I took full responsibility. I have been in full compliance ever since.”
Nevada political journalist Jon Ralston first reported last week that Fiore and her business, Always There Personal Care of Nevada, faced $1 million in liens involving unpaid employee payroll taxes. However, Fiore disputed those numbers saying it was closer to $200,000, because earlier tax problems were already cleared up.
Fiore said there would be consequences for the employee allegedly involved in the theft, although she declined to describe specifics.
“I can’t really elaborate on that but I will tell you there will be consequences,” the lawmaker said.
She also accused two people within the Republican party of spreading the story about her tax lien problems, calling them “rogue consultants.”
“Unfortunately, it is so disappointing to talk about those people that literally began this search-and-destroy campaign because it is within our own party,” Fiore said, “These particular consultants have crossed the line and I believe criminally and legally.”
Fiore was originally removed from her chairmanship after the story first broke. She was reinstated after she accused the Republican leadership of waging a war on women.
During Tuesday’s interview, she said that it was obvious something was going on when two women were removed from the committee and two men put in their place. She says that a small, select number of people in her caucus were not happy about a woman as their leader.
Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Steve Sebelius told KNPR's State of Nevada there is no evidence she was being targeted because she's a woman. He said he was surprised by the accusation.
He does believe there is a more moderate faction of the GOP who disagree with her.
Sebelius also believes her tax problems will be a distraction.
Her tax problems are going to be a distraction.
“When you’re the head of taxation committee you can’t have these issues hanging over your head,” Sebelius said.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)
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