Earlier this evening the National Review reported that the head of the IRS Division which targeted conservative groups, Lois Lerner was placed on administrative leave which is a fancy term for paid vacation.
Lerner on Thursday afternoon sent an e-mail to employees in the exempt-organizations division she oversees stating, “Due to the events of recent days, I am on administrative leave starting today. An announcement will be made shortly informing you who will be acting while I am on administrative leave. I know all of you will continue to support EO’s mission during these difficult times.” She concluded, “I thank you for all your hard work and dedication,” adding, “The work you do is important.”
Immediately after the acting IRS commissioner Daniel Werfel announced that Ken
Corbin, currently the Deputy Director, Submission Processing, Wage and
Investment (W&I) Division, has been selected to be the acting
Director, Exempt Organizations, Tax Exempt/Government Entities Division.
“Ken is a proven leader during challenging times. He has strong
management experience inside the IRS handling a wide range of processing
issues and compliance topics as well as taxpayer service areas,” Werfel
stated. “Combined with his track record of leading large work groups,
these skills make him an ideal choice to help lead the Exempt
Organizations area through this difficult period.”
That was only part of the story, senator Chuck Grassley released this statement:
Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, a senior member of the Finance Committee with Senate jurisdiction over the IRS, today made the following comment on the employment status of Lois Lerner, the head of the IRS tax-exempt division in the middle of a debacle over the targeting of certain tax-exempt groups.
“My understanding is the new acting IRS commissioner asked for Ms. Lerner’s resignation, and she refused to resign. She was then put on administrative leave instead. From all accounts so far, the IRS acting commissioner was on solid ground to ask for her resignation. She was the head of the division that the inspector general found inappropriately targeted groups over their political associations. She had an opportunity to disclose the targeting to Congress days before her disclosure at a legal conference and didn’t do it. Then she gave the impression that the issue came up independently at the conference, when it really was a plant that she arranged. The IRS owes it to taxpayers to resolve her situation quickly. The agency needs to move on to fix the conditions that led to the targeting debacle. She shouldn’t be in limbo indefinitely on the taxpayers’ dime.”
The reason Lerner was placed on leave instead of being fired may have to do with the fact that she has worked for the federal bureaucracy for 20+ years and the only thing harder than firing a bureaucrat is firing a teacher with tenure. Ms Lerner will probably be on the public dole for many months to come.