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Jul 11, 2015 5:27 PM

Guinta holds first town hall since financial scandal


ALTON - U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta held his first town hall following a campaign finance scandal involving more than $300,000 donated to his 2010 campaign.

The Federal Elections Commission found Guinta broke campaign laws by receiving nine checks between 2009-2010 from accounts controlled by his parents.

In response, Guinta has said over the years he has deposited into this account more money than he received in loans.

Federal regulators, however, found that the donations were illegal - and ordered Guinta to pay back the funds.

At his first town hall since the scandal, Guinta did not make mention of the campaign finance investigation. He took only five questions during the one-hour discussion.

A declared Democratic challenger, Shawn O'Connor, shouted from the back of the room that he had a petition with more than 4,000 signatures calling for Guinta's resignation.

"To talk as long as he could on each planted question so that he didn't have to take any unplanted questions," O'Connor said. "To call this a true town hall meeting - this was a sham, let's call it what it is."

A man who was called on by Guinta during the town hall said his question was not planted.

"No," said Peter Burdett. "I serve on the state committee for veterans. He knows me, I know him. We talk about veterans stuff all the time."

Several protesters held signs outside, calling the Congressman a "liar" and demanded his resignation.

"I feel that he hasn't been honest," said Tess Smith. "And I'm still really disgusted that he called Carol Shea-Porter a liar."

Guinta did not acknowledge O'Connor's petition while exiting the Alton Library, where the town hall was held.

He told attendees he had to leave quickly to get to another event.


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