The first time the feds came after me, I was a reporter for Ch. 7. My local state rep had been indicted for attempted extortion, and I was covering the trial. One evening I was in an editing suite, putting together a piece based on what the feds believed was sealed grand jury testimony about my solon. The phone rang and it was an assistant U.S. attorney.
“You run that story and you’re in big trouble,” he said.
I thanked him for his concern and hung up. The next morning the prosecutor stormed up to me in the courtroom and snarled: “You still live in Somerville, don’t you?”
A week later, I got a letter from the IRS saying that I was being audited. I took the letter to court the next day and showed it to my state rep’s defense lawyer. He didn’t seem surprised. He took a letter out of his pocket — it was from the IRS, too.
“Let me handle this,” he said. He wrote a scorching letter to the IRS, demanding to know how he’d been singled out. Then he wrote the same letter on my behalf. And that was the last either of us ever heard from the IRS. My accountant kept calling the pencil-pusher who had signed the letter, but he would never even return the call.
A few years later, the obnoxious prosecutor was nominated for a judgeship. I called up the lawyer and asked him what we were going to do.