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Last month, Michele Fiore became the first female Republican to hold the second-most powerful position in the Assembly.
But the Las Vegas resident and majority leader has some serious tax issues, uncovered by longtime Nevada political analyst Jon Ralston.
Ralston found Fiore has had about $1 million in federal tax liens levied against her over about the last decade. The taxes were money withheld from employees that were supposed to be paid to the government.
Ralston told “KNPR’s State of Nevada” she has paid only about one-tenth of the amount back.
“It’s very, very serious,” Ralston said. “The fact is, she withheld money from employees and did not pass it on to the federal government. It’s not her money. It’s the government’s money and they do not look kindly on that.”
He added that tax issues such as these can "land people in prison."
A spokesman for the Internal Revenue Service told “KNPR’s State of Nevada” they are bound by law not to confirm or deny questions about tax investigations.
Fiore did not return repeated requests to appear on “KNPR’s State of Nevada.”
Fiore’s legal issue is the second troubling issue attached to a leader of the Assembly’s new Republican leadership. Last month, Assemblyman Ira Hansen of Sparks resigned his position as Assembly speaker after racist and sexist comments of his were uncovered in newspaper columns. He was demoted to the third most powerful position in the Assembly, which is controlled by a Republican majority for the first time in some two decades.
Asked if Fiore might resign her leadership position, too, Ralston said he did not think so.
But, he added, “it certainly casts doubt on her credibility.”
Kyle Roerink, reporter, Las Vegas Sun
Jon Ralston, political analyst and columnist