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Al Sharpton, the durable warrior

I suspect Al Sharpton’s legion of detractors are in for another disappointment.

It is beyond question that Sharpton’s finances — especially the $4.5 million in state and federal tax liens — have long been an unholy, unforgivable mess, with many of the gory details laid out in damning detail in a long New York Times investigative piece that graced the paper’s front page this week.

These are the same back taxes I wrote about in July 2008, shortly after federal prosecutors dropped a criminal probe of the Rev. and his organization, the National Action Network. As I noted at the time, Sharpton’s legal team — including former U.S. Attorney Zachary Carter, who is now the city’s Corporation Counsel — negotiated a deal under which he would pay between $2 and $9 million to resolve a host of personal, business and non-profit tax debts.

Yesterday, Sharpton told me that nearly all of the tax liability has been settled; that he has paid all of his personal taxes; and that the remaining balance of $800,000 includes $400,000 in penalties, which his attorneys are trying to get reduced.

Obviously, the whole episode reflects badly on Sharpton. Most people, confronted with mortifying front-page descriptions of millions in late taxes and suggestions of incompetence and possible fraud, would hide in a closet for a week or so, and remain in embarrassed seclusion until bankruptcy could be declared or debts paid off.

Al Sharpton, who emphatically is not most people, held a press conference. Then he hosted his 3-hour radio show, followed by his hour-long national TV show, which amounts to a typical day at the office for him.

 

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One thought on “Al Sharpton, the durable warrior

  1. rarejim

    Al Sharpton is a con man of the first order. That’s all he has ever done and he is good at it! All who consider him as a spoke person for the blacks in America get what you deserve!

    He is being used by big media to keep blacks pacified! What does he really bring to MSNBC? They have the lowest rating of all the networks. He does not represent me or any one that I know!

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