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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Newton campaign muddies waters on tax problems



District 7 candidate Will Newton isn't talking about why he owed $32,139 in back taxes to the federal government, which he paid back in 2012 after two liens were issued by the Internal Revenue Service.

But his campaign manager Steve Lapinski has been giving shifting responses in the hours since the Tampa Bay Times broke the story about Newton's tax troubles.

On Thursday, Lapinski first told the Times that the back taxes had nothing to do with Newton's former mortgage broker and insurance agent licenses. He then clarified his remarks, claiming he hadn't said "licence."

He had.

But the Times updated the Bay Buzz post to reflect Lapinski's newly-clarified language in a statement that the tax dispute didn't involve a business.

On Friday, Lapinski had a new story. The taxes, he told a local blog, were from Newton's work with the firefighter's association. 

When asked for precisely those details on Thursday, Lapinski told the Times that he didn't know. On Friday, he suggested to a blogger that he had told the Times about the union work being the source of income in the tax dispute.

He hadn't.

Lapinski didn't respond to a request for comment on Friday. Neither did Newton.

Newton is vying with Lisa Wheeler-Brown for the City Council seat being vacated by his older brother Wengay, who is term-limited.




[Last modified: Friday, October 9, 2015 3:09pm]


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