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FILE - This file image taken from video and released by the Strategic Perception Inc. on Oct. 5, 2010 shows Republican tea-party-backed Senatorial candidate Christine O FILE - This file image taken from video and released by the Strategic Perception Inc. on Oct. 5, 2010 shows Republican tea-party-backed Senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell. O'Donnell's TV ad declaration "I'm not a witch" during her U.S. Senate campaign topped this year's best quotes, according to Fred Shapiro, associate librarian at Yale Law School, who released his fifth annual list of the most notable quotations of the year. (AP Photo/Strategic Perception Inc.) NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT  

Christine O’Donnell told personal tax records accessed, possibly compromised

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Caroline May
Political Reporter

On the heels of the revelation that the tax records of at least four political candidates and donors were inappropriately accessed, The Washington Times reports that former Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell learned this year that her tax records had been breached.

O’Donnell may best be remembered for her “I am not a witch” commercial; however, in 2010 she was a tea party candidate with enough momentum to beat Delaware Rep. Michael Castle in the primary. In the end, O’Donnell lost in the general election to Democrat Chris Coons.

According to The Washington Time’s report, in January O’Donnell received a phone call from a special agent with the U.S. Treasury notifying her that her personal federal tax information might have been compromised.

The special agent, Dennis Martel, told O’Donnell that the records were accessed by an official in the Delaware state government on the same day she revealed she would be running for Senate.  Also that same day — March 9, 2010 — a tax lien was placed on a house believed to be hers. O’Donnell, however,no longer owned the home.

In an interview with Martel, recounted by The Times, O’Donnell was presented with the name of the man investigators believed was the individual who accessed her records. Martel further told her the man had no legitimate reason to access the records and that this was not the first time something like this had happened. According to O’Donnell, the man had also “friended” her on Facebook.

O’Donnell told The Times that she had been warned about the possibility something like that could happen if she posed a challenge to Castle: namely, that the IRS and others would “F with her head.”

“An official with this investigation told me that there was evidence linking this inappropriate use of my tax records with the Delaware political leadership, Delaware political leaders on both sides of the aisle,” she told The Times. She declined to name the official.

The probe into O’Donnell’s case has been closed, investigators have told the former senate hopeful.

But questions still remain — the IRS is embroiled in scandal and Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley seeks to uncover more information about the records of the unnamed political candidates and donors whose tax records were accessed.

“Taxpayer confidentiality laws are important. The purpose of those laws is to prevent and deter inappropriate uses of taxpayer information, not to prevent public scrutiny when that confidentiality has been breached or keep the victim in the dark,” Grassley told The Times.

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