The IRS will pay $50,000 in damages to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) for illegally leaking donor information to a pro-gay marriage group, it was announced Tuesday.
The Human Rights Campaign posted NOM’s 2008 tax return, along with the names and contact information of major donors, on their website during the 2012 presidential campaign. The unauthorized dissemination of such information is a felony.
TheDC broke the story, obtaining NOM’s official demand for a federal investigation. Now, an investigation that is part of the civil suit NOM filed against the IRS has found that someone at the IRS did give NOM’s confidential tax and donor information to a gay rights activist in Boston. The identity of the leaker is not yet known. (RELATED: IRS Responds To NOM, Is Taking Alleged Leak Very Seriously)
“In the beginning, the government claimed that the IRS had done nothing wrong and that NOM itself must have released our confidential information,” read a statement from NOM Chairman John D. Eastman. “Thanks to a lot of hard work, we’ve forced the IRS to admit that they in fact were the ones to break the law and wrongfully released this confidential information.”
Human Rights Campaign’s then-president, Joe Solmonese, was also the co-chair of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.
The $50,000 covers actual costs incurred by NOM while responding to the leaked information, and are not punitive damages. No criminal charges have been filed.