Democrat Requests Blackwater Inquiry

A senior House Democrat has called for a wide-ranging federal investigation into North Carolina-based Blackwater Worldwide.

California Representative Henry Waxman contends the Moyock-based
Blackwater violated tax and labor laws by classifying its guards as
independent contractors rather than company employees.

Blackwater spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell calls the charges "completely without merit."

Tyrrell says the company's classification of its personnel is accurate.

Waxman chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government
Reform. He says Blackwater's claims on its business status appear

He wrote the Internal Revenue Service and the Labor Department
today, asking them to investigate whether Blackwater defrauded the
government of tax revenue and violated labor laws.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)