Huntington supervisor candidate blames tax problems on ID theft

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HUNTINGTON -

Tracey Edwards, the Democratic town supervisor candidate in Huntington, is using past federal and state tax liens filed against her as part of her campaign for office – saying she was once a victim of identity theft. 

Public records show that between 2005 and 2012, the IRS filed more than $173,000 in tax liens against Edwards. New York state also filed judgments for unpaid taxes between 1999 and 2010 worth more than $59,000. 

News 12/Newsday Report: IRS, state filed tax actions against Tracey Edwards, records show

Edwards doesn't deny any of this, but she says there's a catch.

"Someone put in tax returns in our name," she told News 12 Long Island

The Huntington Democrat says she is the victim of identity theft. She says in 2014, her accountant informed her that the IRS rejected her electronic tax return. She says she then received a document from the IRS, which says she may have been the victim of identity theft. It assigned her a special PIN number for added protection.

Edwards told News 12 that she did not file a police report because "automatically, the IRS does the investigation." She is doubling down on the alleged identity theft, even letting voters know about it in a mailer. 

Mark Balog, a Melville-based certified public accountant, says her claims "doesn't seem to make sense." He says Edwards may very well have been the victim of identity theft at one time, but the liens filed against her span over the course 15 years. He calls that a "red flag."

"To be quite frank with you, if you have liens going back that far, more likely or not, in my professional opinion, that should be unrelated," said Balog. 

Republican Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci, Edwards' opponent in the upcoming election, says her history with tax liens calls her judgment into question.

"Fiscal responsibility in your personal life, I think, definitely relates to fiscal responsibility in your professional life, too," says Lupinacci. 

Edwards has served on the Huntington Town Board since 2013. She and Lupinacci are vying to succeed Democrat Frank Patrone, who has served as the Huntington town supervisor for the past 24 years.

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