US Representative John F. Tierney says he didn't know of the financial dealings by his wife, Patrice, that led to her guilty plea Wednesday to tax fraud charges in federal court.
"Let me, first of all, say that this is the 21st century and what Patrice does with her family and a family business is not something as her husband that I look over and monitor day to day," the seven-term Democrat said as sparks flew in a debate with Bill Hudak, his Republican opponent for the 6th Congressional District seat.
The brief debate, hosted by anchor Maria Stephanos, was broadcast Thursday on WFXT-TV (Channel 25).
"I think my opponent would probably love to debate my wife's family, run against them, but that's not the luxury that he has. The fact of the matter is that we're running a race here where my integrity and honesty is not questioned," Tierney said in the debate.
Hudak had difficulty getting full sentences out at some points as he was talked over by Tierney. But Hudak, who had called on Tierney to explain what he knew and when, was able to say, "You're trying to distract from the fact that you've got $7 million unaccounted-for."
Patrice Tierney, 59, pleaded guilty Wednesday to four counts of aiding and abetting the filing of false tax returns for her brother, a federal fugitive who has been indicted on charges of illegal gambling and money laundering.
Prosecutors say Patrice Tierney helped her brother, Robert Eremian, manage a bank account that collected more than $7 million in illegal gambling profits over seven years, the Globe reported Thursday.
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