KMOV-TV anchorman Larry Conners is no longer on the air after he claimed in a Facebook post that he was audited by the IRS following an interview with President Obama.
“He’s not suspended. We just all thought it made sense [for him] to take a few days off,” news director Sean McLaughlin told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We take this very seriously, and we don’t expect this to drag on. We’re still looking into the situation and weighing our options."
Last Monday night, Connors posted on Facebook that he had been getting “pressure” from the IRS after his Obama interview in April 2012 (video below).
“I don’t accept ‘conspiracy theories,’ but I do know that almost immediately after the interview, the IRS started hammering me," Connors wrote on Facebook. “Can I prove it? At this time, no. But it is a fact that since that April 2012 interview … the IRS has been pressuring me.”
His Facebook post has been since taken down.
On Tuesday, during a KMOV-TV broadcast, Conners walked back his original claim: “To be fair, I should disclose that my issues with the IRS preceded that interview [with Obama] by several years" (video below).
According to St. Louis County records, a federal tax lien has been placed on Conners’ property in Clayton, Missouri because Conners and his wife Janet owe more than $85,000 in taxes.
“His Facebook post and his Twitter posts, as a result, were inappropriate,” Michael Valentine, vice president of content for Belo Corp., KMOV’s parent company, told BuzzFeed.com. “And we don’t condone personal posts that jeopardize the journalistic nature of our business. It’s really that simple.”