IRS exec Paz harassed amid GOP criticism of her testimony to House panel on Tea Party tax scrutiny
WASHINGTON — A top Internal Revenue Service official has faced harassment, including threatening telephone calls and visits to her home, on being singled out for criticism by Republicans, her lawyer alleges in a letter to lawmakers.
The official, Holly Paz, has been on administrative leave since June in connection with the controversy over how the IRS scrutinized conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status. Paz was involved in subjecting some Tea Party groups to scrutiny and helped conduct an internal review of the program, but has not been formally accused of wrongdoing.
In a letter to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Paz's attorney wrote that she and her family have suffered threats and harassment since Republicans suggested she had been inconsistent in her testimony to the panel.
The attorney, Roel Campos, said the “one-sided public attack” by Republicans has added to “the physical danger faced by Ms. Paz and her family.”
Campos continued, “Because of prior inaccurate reports and allegations, Paz and her family have received threatening phone calls, messages, and visits at their home. Her oldest son jumps every time the home phone rings because he has heard the threatening messages. Her son was followed home from the school bus and harassed by a stranger claiming to be a reporter. Paz's sons had to hide in their room one night when a process server tried to force his way into Paz's home and would not leave until escorted away by the police.”
Campos also said Paz had testified truthfully “and to the best of her recollection” about the IRS controversy.
Committee spokesman Frederick Hill called the letter “disappointing” and said Campos should focus on the panel's questions about the accuracy of her testimony.