Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer Friday called on his opponent for district attorney, incumbent Tony Rackauckas, to return thousands of dollars his campaign received from “convicted felons.”

According to Spitzer, Rackauckas’ campaign received $1,700 from Farzaneh Akhavi, who was indicted for money laundering, identity theft and wire fraud last year, and $1,500 from Todd Stuart Kaplan, who pleaded guilty to tax evasion.

Rackauckas campaign spokesman David Gilliard said Spitzer’s “latest assault smacks of desperation.”

In an emailed statement, Gilliard added that Rackauckas “has had over a thousand individual donors over the years. A quick check of public records indicates that the people Spitzer is attacking have donated to numerous other officeholders and candidates in Orange County and around the country. There is a reason the law enforcement community stands squarely behind Tony Rackauckas and it’s because he has done an outstanding job of prosecuting crime and helping to make Orange County one of the safest large counties in America.”

Gilliard did not immediately respond to a follow-up question on what Rackauckas plans to do with the contributions.

“We both have thousands of donors, but that’s not the point, the point is you don’t take money from convicted felons and when it’s brought to your attention you return it,” Spitzer told City News Service.

“You shouldn’t associate yourself with dirty money when you’re district attorney, it’s wrong,” Spitzer said. “Just give the money to charity.”

Spitzer said Kaplan was already convicted of a crime when he donated the money, and Akhavi was recently convicted.

In Kaplan’s case, Spitzer argued, “he’s a well-known businessman who has had many lawsuits and has been sued repeatedly. He’s had nothing but trouble with lawsuits.”

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