| USWorld

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Embattled IRS official retires before ax falls

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By McClatchy Newspapers
Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, 7:09 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Lois Lerner, at the center of the Internal Revenue Service scandal, stepped down on Monday as an internal review reportedly called for her removal because of mismanagement.

Lerner headed the Tax Exempt & Government Entities Division at the IRS, which grants tax-exempt status to nonprofit organizations. IRS leaders have acknowledged that the office inappropriately targeted for extra scrutiny groups that had political-sounding names, especially conservative groups.

The IRS confirmed Lerner's retirement but would not comment further, citing federal privacy rules.

Lawmakers said Lerner's resignation occurred as an Accountability Review Board formed by temporary IRS chief Daniel Werfel was set to remove Lerner for mismanagement.

The scandal surfaced when Lerner took a question at a legal conference in May, later revealed to be a planted question, in which she suggested some overzealous IRS employees had used inappropriate criteria to slow down requests for tax-exempt status from conservative groups. Hearings have shown that the Washington headquarters was deeply involved in the process.

Republicans allege that the scrutiny was designed to slow applications from groups who opposed Obama's re-election. California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, who heads the House Committee on Oversight, said on Monday that he still wants testimony from Lerner.

Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination when appearing before Issa's committee, but not before offering a defense of her actions, leading Issa to conclude she'd waived her protections.

“Just because Lois Lerner is retiring from the IRS does not mean the investigation is over. Far from it,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Liability of gun shops at stake in Wisconsin civil trial
  2. Ex-coal CEO Blankenship talks safety in secretly recorded calls
  3. Propane, oil prices expected to be lower over winter
  4. Residents fear environmental concerns take precedence over human issues in N.C. pollution cleanup
  5. Claims of fired Benghazi panel member countered by chairman
  6. Inmates help dying prisoners in Ohio hospice
  7. Sagging inflation expected to rule out Social Security cost-of-living adjustment
  8. Wyoming fire forces evacuations
  9. Top U.S. general wants more troops in Afghanistan
  10. McCarthy drops out as GOP speaker candidate in shocker
  11. Many aboard El Faro cargo ship that sank in storm trained in U.S. maritime academies