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Son Says He Posed as IRS Agent to Help Dad’s Campaign

March 7, 1986

DALLAS (AP) _ The son of a candidate for the state Legislature said he impersonated an Internal Revenue Service agent to gain information about the finances of his father’s political opponent.

Mike Lawshe, whose father is challenging incumbent Alvin Granoff in the Democratic primary, said the subterfuge was ″a mischievous prank.″

But the IRS is looking into the incident to determine whether young Lawshe broke any laws, a federal law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity told the Dallas Morning News.

Sissy Day, a political consultant for Granoff, said a man identifying himself as Dan Jackels of the IRS called her Feb. 24 and told her the IRS was doing a prelimary audit on her client.

Ms. Day said she became suspicious of the agent and notified the IRS after calling him back at an office number he gave. Agents traced the telephone number to a Lawshe family business in Pleasant Grove, a Dallas suburb.

″We didn’t find out anything out that we didn’t already know,″ said Lawshe, 24. ″And it was a pretty dumb thing to do now that I look back at it.″

Lawshe said agents questioned him and that he got a ″good chewing out″ from his father.

″Ignorance is no excuse for the law,″ he said. ″But ... I’d watched it on the ‘Rockford Files.’ I didn’t realize it was anything wrong to do it.

″I got pretty verbally reprimanded by the local authorities here. I learned my lesson. I tell you I won’t do that again,″ he said.

George Lawshe, who lost to Granoff in the 1982 Democratic primary, said he regretted the incident and did not think it would affect his campaign.

″All he had to do was ask,″ Granoff said about his financial records. ″It’s all public record.″