September 24, 2013
IRS Accepts Retirement of Official at Center of Scandal
Lois Lerner, the head of the Internal Revenue Service division under fire since May for alleged political targeting of conservative groups, submitted her resignation Monday morning after months of administrative leave, the agency acknowledged. “We can confirm today that Lois Lerner has retired,” the IRS said in a statement. “Under federal privacy rules, the IRS cannot comment further on individual employee matters.”
Acting Internal Revenue Commissioner Danny Werfel has been implementing reforms of the troubled agency, including the empaneling of an Accountability Review Board, while also following established rules on personnel actions, the agency said. Earlier this month, Werfel was pressed by Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee to explain why Lerner continued to collect a paycheck after she invoked her Fifth Amendment rights and declined to testify on her two-year role supervising the processing of applications for tax-exempt status from nonprofit groups and judging the extent to which the groups are political. Republicans also criticized her use of private email for some official communication and her past work for the Federal Election Commission.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, issued a statement saying, “Lerner’s exit from the IRS does not alter the Oversight Committee’s interest in understanding why applicants for tax exempt status were targeted and inappropriately treated because of their political beliefs. We still don’t know why Lois Lerner, as a senior IRS official, had such a personal interest in directing scrutiny and why she denied improper conduct to Congress. Her departure does not answer these questions or diminish the committee’s interest in hearing her testimony.”