(CNN) - Illinois Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias is maintaining he did not mislead voters about the duration of his tenure at his family's now-defunct Chicago bank, following a report that the Democrat worked for the troubled financial institution longer than he has claimed.
Giannoulias has long insisted that in 2005 he left his senior position at Broadway Bank, which collapsed earlier this year as a result of its troubled loan business. Giannoulias, himself a former loan officer there, has largely sought to avoid culpability for the firm's collapse by arguing he left the bank before its troubled deals were struck.
But, according to Wednesday's Chicago Tribune, Giannoulias' IRS returns last year show the Democrat was permitted to take a $2.7 million deduction as a result of working at least 500 hours for the bank in 2006 – contradicting his repeated claim he had washed his hands of the troubled family business months earlier.
Such a deduction is permitted by the IRS in order to reflect business losses tied to a family corporation if a taxpayer has spent a significant amount of time working for the business.
"The Chicago Tribune article makes very clear that Alexi has been consistent about his role at the bank," Giannoulias spokesman Scott Burnham told CNN.
"First, Alexi paid his taxes properly. Second, Alexi stopped taking new clients when he announced for (state) treasurer in 2005 and left the bank entirely in 2006."
In an interview with the Tribune, Giannoulias maintained he left his "day-to-day" job at the bank in 2005, saying his work in the first half of 2006 consisted of logging 30 hours a week to wind down his previous accounts.
"I think the biggest difference is I wasn't taking on new customers. I was just finishing up what I needed to do, so I don't know how the hours worked out, but it wasn't a full-time job," he said.
The timing question could nevertheless be particularly troublesome for Giannoulias. Among other things, Rep. Mark Kirk, the GOP Senate nominee, has repeatedly criticized Giannoulias over a loan Broadway made in February 2006 to Tony Rezko, a local developer convicted on fraud and bribery charges in 2008.
Rezko gained notoriety during the 2008 presidential primaries when Hillary Clinton attacked Barack Obama for various alleged associations with the developer.
Giannoulias maintains he had nothing to do with Broadway's Rezko loan despite still being employed by the bank when the deal was made.
It remains to be seen whether the new questions regarding Giannoulias' tenure at Broadway will hurt the Democrat's campaign for Obama's old Senate seat. Giannoulias remains locked in a tight race with Kirk despite Illinois' increasingly Democratic tilt.
Throughout his campaign, Giannoulias has been forced to repeatedly fend off allegations and concerns about his involvement with the bank, which was seized by regulators in April after failing to raise $85 million in necessary capital.
Giannoulias said then that his family's bank had fallen victim to an "economic tsunami."
"Unlike some larger financial firms, there was no bailout for my father's bank," he said.