Al Sharpton is once again in the legal news with the disclosure that he and his various enterprises owe $1.5 million in back taxes. Currently under criminaL investigation, the question is why Sharpton appears to get a free pass with politicians like the Clintons and Obamas despite a history of overt race baiting and alleged corruption.
It has been well-known that Sharpton is under criminal investigation, including tapes showing him shaking down individuals in his own version of “pay-to-play.” Click here. Now, the news of being $1.5 million in debt returns many to the question of why Sharpton appears to transcend rules of decency and accountability — yet is constantly pandered to by Democratic politicians.
Only recently, Sharpton was again inserting race into every opportunity, criticizing Obama for “grandstanding in front of white people.” Click here.
He certainly know how to work the system and has succeeded in dodging convictions in the past. In 1990, he was acquitted of tax fraud and charges that he stole from one of his charities. Later, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failing to file a state return.
Of course, he lost in the defamation against involving Tawana Brawley. In 1987, Sharpton made himself a national figure when he organized protests after Brawley was found inside a plastic bag behind an apartment house in Wappingers Falls, N.Y. She was covered with feces and racial epithets smeared on her body and accused various white men, including Steven A. Pagones, a former Dutchess County assistant district attorney. Sharpton attacked Pagones and the other men with Ms. Brawley’s lawyers, Alton H. Maddox Jr. and C. Vernon Mason.
A grand jury eventually found that the account was a hoax and Pagones successfully sued Sharpton, Maddox, Mason and Brawley. Sharpton has never apologized for his role and failed to pay the damages until various businessmen came forward to pay the damages for him in 2001.
Notably, Sharpton is now using the Bell controversy to put heat on U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell—the Brooklyn prosecutor who has been investigating Sharpton.
With the help of corporations like Anheuser-Busch, real estate company Forest City Ratner, and other cowed companies, Sharpton rakes roughly $2 million a year in corporate money, according to press reports.
He has also received contributions from New York Gov. David Paterson, Rep. Charles Rangel, and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has given $10,000. My favorite is Cuomo, the leading state prosecutor.
For the full story, click here.