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Larry Conners Offers Timeline Of His IRS Issues As Lawyers Prepare Complaint Against KMOV

larry-conners-kmov.jpg
Larry Conners.
Last week, KMOV-TV (Channel 4) fired veteran anchor Larry Conners after he made controversial Facebook comments about his relationship with the IRS. Conners -- who questioned whether the IRS was targeting him in response to a tough Obama interview in 2012 -- has since defended his comments and accused the station of making him look like a tax cheat in its handling of the controversy. That's because, according to Conners, his KMOV bosses forced him to read a statement disclosing that his problems with the IRS predated the Obama interview by several years. In an interview, he told us that this disclosure -- which he says he did not write and was not allowed to revise -- was misleading and out of context and made him look like a criminal.

Today, as his attorneys push forward with a formal complaint regarding the firing, Conners has released a statement that offers a detailed timeline of his IRS issues.

Does the timing offer a strong case that the IRS might have targeted him in response to the Obama interview?

See also:
- Larry Conners: After KMOV Firing, Former Anchor's Lawyers Consider Lawsuit
- Larry Conners Talks KMOV-TV Firing, Defends IRS Facebook Post
- KMOV-TV's Larry Conners Says IRS May Have Been Targeting Him For Years

Conners has continued to argue that he did not make a direct allegation about the IRS but simply raised the possibility on his Facebook page in the context of the national news of IRS targets.

In a statement sent to reporters this morning, Conners again defends his IRS remarks and then offers these details about his issues with the agency:

Here is the clear timeline: I was on an IRS payment plan since August 2011 and made all payments on time. The Obama interview (which went viral) was in April 2012. Between that interview and September 2012, I was informed that IRS was cancelling my payment plan. I hired a tax attorney and we started working on ways to continue the plan, but could not and still cannot get any resolution. These are facts and not accusations.

He says again in the statement that he did not take a position, but simply asked a question in his comments.

larry-conners-irs-statement.jpg
via kmov.com
Larry Conners making his short on-air statement about the IRS last week.

KMOV's president, in formal statements and an interview with Daily RFT, has repeatedly said that these comments violated the journalistic standards of the news organization and that the station takes its commitment to unbiased reporting very seriously.

In his new statement, Conners says he rejects the stated reason for his firing. "KMOV General Manager, Mark Pimentel, said that I was terminated 'with cause', citing that because of [my] Facebook posting I had 'compromised my integrity and credibility'. I disagree," he writes.

Conners' attorney tells Daily RFT this morning that more details about the official complaint are expected today.

A local IRS spokesman declined to comment about Conners citing policy that the agency cannot discuss individual taxpayers.

Meanwhile, Conners has reemerged on Twitter at the handle @LarryConnersUSA and also has a blog now where he has published several posts about the First Amendment, the media's use of Facebook and conspiracy theories. He also has a new Facebook page.

Here's Conners' full statement.

Larry Conners Statement

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

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32 comments
James Filanda
James Filanda

He had to blame someone. Far be it for a media personality to stretch the truth!

Max Schulze
Max Schulze

"First, any legitimate journalist keeps his partisan politics off the media" Can I play fantasy, too????

kkestner61
kkestner61

Gee, Larry, if the statement that KMOV made you read was a lie, then why did you read it?  Did they hold a gun to your head?  Did they threaten your family?  They had already taken your lying arse off the air, what were they going to do to you if you didn't read it, fire you?  Well they did that anyway. Why not just accept the simple truth that you tried to self agrandize your importance by inserting yourself into the IRS scandal when there was no connection  whatsoever.  You've forever tarnished your credibility in the minds of all but the looneyist of the right wingnuts.  Please pay your taxes or let the IRS take your house, then move down to Christian County or some other right wingnut looney bin, where someone might be willing to listen to your egomaniacal rants.

Amanda Conner
Amanda Conner

He presented it as a QUESTION and was not allowed to reiterate, not allowed to do anything regarding it. The facts are facts. This isn't a frkn political debate. Why does everyone want to make it political? He was encouraged to present questions and thoughts of the community while at KMOV. Those are facts. Glad to know how loyal some of you are and how sickingly foolish as well. Try caring about something, someone... Or standing up for something that was wrong. Sigh. ....punch....

Jeff Willett
Jeff Willett

Why would you owe that much to begin with?

Jeff Willett
Jeff Willett

1. He's supposed to be a journalist, not Rush Jr. 2. He spoke his opinion on the company's Facebook not his own personal one. I know an employee where I work who was fired for using a company computer on company time to speak against the company on his own Facebook account. Totally ok with this myself.

Amanda Conner
Amanda Conner

Fk off. Conservatives, liberals.... Who cares. He didn't do anything wrong. Fact. He was targeted out of CHICAGO! Wake up fools. What in the hell is wrong with you people... Tax dodging asshole, then you wanna say another conservative. What about Jaco saying "I've been there" he's a liberal.... Betcha won't call him a dodger because of his political stance. I so wish I could beat some of your asses in real life. How stupid are you? He's on a payment plan. He is STL's most tenured anchor. Show some fkng respect for one of our own or go back to reading strange love. Fkrs.

adamshriverstl
adamshriverstl

When Larry Conners was asked on the Jaco Report if the IRS gave a reason for canceling the plan, Conners said, "I leave that to my tax attorney."  He later said "I haven't done my taxes in 20 years."  This should put to rest any illusions that Conners was being a responsible journalist when he speculated about being targeted.  He can't even answer what reason the IRS gave!  So how does he know if it was a good reason or not?  Such a joke...

Link: http://fox2now.com/2013/05/26/jaco-report-may-26-2013/ 


Darrell Ford
Darrell Ford

just another racist republican who got caught making asinine remarks and now tries to back pedal...go to Fox news where you're lies are spoken as fact...don't go away mad, JUST GO AWAY.

Larry Scott Smith
Larry Scott Smith

fact is he didn't pay his taxes that's why they setup a payment plan for him

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

he was making payments to the IRS before this happened. but, i wouldn't want facts to get in the way.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

he's not a tax cheat. he was making payments to the IRS before this ever happened.

Janet Johnson
Janet Johnson

KMOV had two perfectly legitimate reasons to fire him. First, any legitimate journalist keeps his partisan politics off the media. Second, he keeps his personal stuff off the media too.

Keith Belk
Keith Belk

Never liked the asshole and he is a tax cheat

ollie.ownz
ollie.ownz

I think KMOV was wrong in letting Larry go.   I would love to see hime move up here to the Central IL

 area to continue his broadcast career

Charlie Cochran
Charlie Cochran

I do know one thing that I believe to be true: Mr Conners and his wife need to pay the IRS $85,000 in back taxes, to me that is a small fortune. For them? It is not. If WE all have to pay then they do, too

Rick Kohn
Rick Kohn

Oh yea, I'm sure it was just coincidence that the IRS dropped a payment plan he had worked out with them before the interview, without a reason? Screw the IRS and KMOV. You're going to fire one of the most respected newsmen in the city for one comment on a FB page,really??????

Jeri Michelle Reuter
Jeri Michelle Reuter

I don't even think it matters whether or not he really was targeted. It is not a crime to say what you think.

Ryan Gosa
Ryan Gosa

Time for the upper management at kmov to hit the road Larry used his freedom of speech and got fired for it

Drew Patterson
Drew Patterson

I don't think Obama gives two shits about Larry Conners.

Jimmie Thomptson
Jimmie Thomptson

have you ever had to deal with that gov. agency? I don't watch channel 4 news anymore, very happy with other local stations...

David B Fowler
David B Fowler

Yes. Like any that question obama with real questions off the official party line.

Edwin Reese
Edwin Reese

I don't know for sure, but I do know this: Larry Conners seems like kind of an asshole.

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

@kkestner61 , Connors read the statement believing that would end KMOV's issue with his posting. It only made things worse. Connors was faced with either reading the statement or being fired. He read the statement, then he was fired. KMOV was moving the goal line on every turn.

Sure, he never should have read the statement that he did not 100% believe, but he probably rationalized it like each and every other human being does when faced with two lousy choices. He held up his end of the bargain. KMOV did not.

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