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Mailbox Bombing Probed at U.S. Treasury Inspector General’s Home

Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. authorities are investigating the bombing of a mailbox at the home of the Treasury Department’s inspector general this week.

Fairfax County, Virginia, police officers were called to Inspector General Eric Thorson’s home in suburban Washington on Dec. 31 after he discovered his mailbox destroyed from what appeared to be a pipe bomb.

“An explosive device was detonated on Mr. Thorson’s property,” said Rich Delmar, counsel to the inspector general. “The matter is under investigation by the Fairfax County police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. We are awaiting the results of those investigations.”

The ATF collected evidence from the scene, a person familiar with the matter said. Investigators are trying to determine if the bombing is connected to any of the inspector general’s work, said the person, who asked to remain anonymous because the probe is in its early stages.

Janice Kemp, a spokeswoman for the ATF, said the agency was investigating “an incident that involved an explosive device.” Lucy Caldwell, a spokeswoman for the Fairfax County Police Department, said the county’s fire marshal is leading the investigation.

Thorson was confirmed by the Senate in 2008. His office conducts independent audits of the department and investigates cases of waste, fraud and abuse of government resources. It handles a number of financially related criminal cases, such as thefts of checks issued by the Treasury.

He previously was the inspector general of the Small Business Administration. A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Thorson served as an Air Force pilot and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

To contact the reporters on this story: Robert Schmidt in Washington at rschmidt5@bloomberg.net; Ian Katz in Washington at ikatz2@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Maura Reynolds at mreynolds34@bloomberg.net.

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