May 23rd, 2013
05:45 PM ET
9 years ago

IRS official Lois Lerner placed on administrative leave

Washington (CNN) – The Internal Revenue Service official overseeing the unit that targeted conservative groups for several years beginning in the spring of 2010 has been placed on administrative leave, according to Congressional sources in both parties.

Lois Lerner was the director of exempt organizations when the agency filtered applications for tax exempt status for words such as "patriot" and "tea party."

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She publicly revealed the targeting two weeks ago in her answer to a planted question at a bar association event in Washington shortly before an inspector general report on the matter was made public.

The agency's new acting director announced late Thursday he was appointing Ken Corbin, who was deputy director of unit which processes tax returns and payments, to oversee the exempt organizations unit.

Lerner appeared before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday and stated she had not broken any laws or agency regulations. She then invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and declined to answer questions.

Republicans questioned whether she waived that right by making her opening statement.

Committee Chairman Darrell Issa will call her back to testify before the committee, his spokesman said earlier on Thursday.

Filed under: IRS
soundoff (184 Responses)
  1. Rick Alandor

    Admin leave? She should be fired! Not answering the questions of the committee just makes her and the IRS look more guilty than they already are! Shame on her!!!!

    May 23, 2013 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  2. Tommy Chan

    Hard to believe she's been placed on leave when she invoked her 5th amendment rights! What happened to innocent before proven guilty?!

    May 23, 2013 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  3. Matt

    She just got a free vacation as she is still being paid. Only in the public sector could you perform this way and then be given permission to sit at home and collect a pay check. Lois Lerner: the nation's newest welfare recipient.

    May 23, 2013 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  4. Citizen

    Why is CNN trying to bury this story? Both democrats and republicans are furious with the IRS. I don't get it

    May 23, 2013 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  5. wxqz

    It is modren day McCarthyism.

    She invoked the 5th in the face of a rabid witch hunt.

    Her boss stood up to congress and said there was no targeting.

    It is IRS job to enforce the code. if the code is no good, then fix it. Where is the GOP cry to fix the tax code ?

    The Tea Party is asking for tax exempt because they are an education organization. Really? I guess they are trying to brainwash educate the country. What a pathetic joke. You cannot be taxexempt if you ar ea political organizaiton.

    So how can they be tax exempt.

    The whole thing is a pathetic circus sham. Every day congress surpasses itself in the pursuit of the futile and meaningless. Senator Joe McCarthy.

    Enthusiasm,; Disillusionment,; Panic and hysteria,; Search for the guilty,; Punishment of the innocent, and; Praise and honor for the nonparticipants.

    May 23, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  6. Dan

    Where can I get a job I get get put on admin, leave WITH PAY?.

    May 23, 2013 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  7. SM

    She should be on leave with out pay or a suspension without pay. When you are placed on administrative leave, you are paid the same salary. So, she is getting a paid vacation without using any of her sick or annual leave. What a crock!!!

    May 23, 2013 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  8. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    RS official Lois Lerner
    placed on administrative leave

    Get PAID vacation !!!

    FORWARD >>> >>> >>> >>> >>> >>
    To ONLY government; ALL the time

    May 23, 2013 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  9. Cjb

    Translation: She gets a paid vacation. Obama justice at its best.

    May 23, 2013 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  10. Bill

    Now bring her back and make her testify. By giving her statement, and answering the lawyer's question about her previous testimony, she's waived her Fifth Amendment rights.

    (You can't answer ANY question other than asserting your Fifth Amendment right, or the right is waived. Even if she was asked "Do you work at the IRS?", she would have had to invoke the Fifth.)

    May 23, 2013 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  11. truth hurts but reality bites

    She's on paid administrative leave, aka paid vacation. What a rip off for the taxpayers she just crapped all over. She should be fired outright. Everything she did should be reviewed to see if there were violations of the law. If she broke the law, she must be prosecuted. No slap on the wrist, no promotions.

    May 23, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  12. tedz

    when a guy becomes president and auctions, the senate seat, what can you not expect to happen?

    May 23, 2013 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  13. Ravi

    Instead of leave, she should have been fired for not standing up for her own statement.

    May 23, 2013 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  14. rodboy

    This is getting to be rather funny – but what does this story have to do with the promise , checks in the mail, abortion in every pot, free birth control for single women – you mean they need to be truthful too.

    May 23, 2013 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  15. Tim

    Big Government=Bad politics

    May 23, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  16. John

    Shouldn't the word "paid" appear in the article and maybe the headline? I believe this IRS official is on PAID administrative leave.

    May 23, 2013 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  17. Tim

    Government will fire employees at a rate of %.55. Private sector fire rate is 3%. Look it up it is a fact. What is wrong with this picture. The greatest threat to a government employee getting fired is their own mortality. The government just keep getting bigger and bigger, nothing can stop it.
    The IRS will be in charge of enforcing Obamacare. Anyone see a problem?

    May 23, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  18. John

    Also, is it true that this IRS official has refused to resign? No mention of that in this article.

    May 23, 2013 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  19. the troof

    transparency at its finest. I am a tax payer paid department head. I will plead the 5th since I am innocent and have nothing to hide, get placed on paid leave, wait for some dancing with the stars actor to make a racial comment to distract the media, come back and do more of the same heading up the irs obamacare targeting, I mean implementation.

    May 23, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  20. bert f.

    As a public employee on the public payroll, does she really believe she can refuse to speak to Congressional oversight committees having to do with her job?

    May 23, 2013 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  21. Spencer Brown

    The Fifth Amendment is a protection for those who believe their statements might be used against them criminally. Lerner opened and said she didn't do anything illegal or otherwise wrong. So she can't go on to take the 5th. If she wasn't a government employee, this level of uncooperation and double-talk would get her fired.

    May 23, 2013 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  22. U.S. Citizen

    What is the contest of 'wrong'?
    As in illegal or as in against their objective.

    May 23, 2013 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  23. dd

    Why is she on leave? She should be fired. If a government employee refuses to testify to Congress, they should be fired and jailed! Maybe she is protecting Obama. That is probably the problem. Obama will go down if the leaders of the IRS and Justice tell the people who is attacking their freedoms!

    May 23, 2013 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  24. skog

    I hope she has the courage to name names.

    May 23, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  25. sad day at the movies

    just on leave and still being paid ?
    She needs to be gone period. Along with every person that participated in they ploy.

    May 23, 2013 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
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