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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Suspicious fires destroyed Al Sharpton's financial records not once but - TWICE 

Maybe he should call Hillary. She's looking for a fire to destroy some servers.

  • Reverend Al Sharpton was running for office at the time of both of the fires
  • One broke out below New York offices in 1997 as he was running for mayor
  • The second happened in 2003 at the offices of his National Action Network
  • Report suggests fires destroyed key financial records of civil rights activist

By Julian Robinson for MailOnline 

Published: 08:21 EST, 12 March 2015 | Updated: 09:17 EST, 12 March 2015 

Suspicious fires twice destroyed financial records of Reverend Al Sharpton (pictured)

Suspicious fires twice destroyed the financial records of Reverend Al Sharpton, a report has claimed.

The civil rights activist was running for office at the time of the fires, which were six years apart and in separate buildings in New York.

It has been reported that Sharpton subsequently failed to comply with tax and campaign filing requirements.

According to the National Review Online, the first fire happened in 1997 as Sharpton was running for mayor while the second happened while he was running for president in 2003. The fires destroyed 'critical financial records', the report said.

The first blaze, on April 10, 1997 - five days before Tax Day - started in a hair and nail salon below Sharpton's headquarters at West 125th Street in New York and investigators treated it as an arson/explosion case.

At the time, the Reverend's spokesman said the campaign had lost its 'entire Manhattan operation' while the mayor at the time, Rudy Giuliani, said the investigation centred on the salon rather than Sharpton's campaign

The National Review reports that Sharpton said he was unable to file certain financial documents and blamed the fire for the destruction of the records.

On January 23, 2003, a fire caused extensive damage in the offices of his non-profit organisation National Action Network on Madison Avenue. It happened a day after Sharpton submitted documents to create a presidential exploratory committee, the website reports. 

Investigators initially treated the blaze as suspicious but later put it down to 'NFA (Not Fully Ascertained) – heat from electrical equipment'.

But National Review Online reports that 'significant oddities' surrounded the fire and the investigation.

The civil rights activist (pictured) was running for office at the time of the fires, which were six years apart and in separate buildings in New York

It quotes supervising fire marshal, James Kelty, who attended the scene, as saying that he found it 'unusual' when he was unexpectedly relieved from investigating the blaze.

When Mr Kelty was told that the report into the fire was only six pages long with 38 pictures from the scene, he said that such a document would generally be 'much more exhaustive' given Sharpton's high profile.

The website also quotes sources about one of Sharpton's former employees J. D. Livingston.

It says Mr Livingston, who immigrated to the United States from Guyana, was first on the scene as the fire took hold.

The report says Livingston claimed he was in a reception room when the fire broke out but that a major fire had developed by the time fire crews arrived.

Civil rights activist Al Sharpton is pictured in April last year with US President Barack Obama

Mr Kelty is quoted as saying that this was 'odd' and 'not normal fire behaviour'. Mr Livingston is said to have had Sharpton's lawyer with him when he was speaking to authorities.

The report says that the maintenance man, who died in 2014, had, at some point, been living in the US illegally.

In an interview with the National Review Online, Sharpton confirmed that Mr Livingston had done some 'side work' with him, but dismissed allegations he was paying him 'under the table'.

When asked whether the fires were a case of bad luck, NRO quotes Sharpton as saying: 'I would say that you could speak to people that would certainly, whoever they are, could have their views.'


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