Key official in IRS tea party controversy resigns

September 23, 2013

Lois Lerner, a key official in the IRS’s tea party controversy, resigned Monday morning as an internal-review board was preparing to call for her removal on the basis of “neglect of duties,” according to congressional aides from the House Ways and Means Committee.

It is unclear whether Lerner will is eligible for a federal pension and other federal-retiree benefits. The IRS, which described her departure as a “retirement,” said it could not comment further on the matter due to federal privacy rules, and her attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday.

IRS official Lois Lerner waits to testify at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters).
IRS official Lois Lerner waits to testify at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

IRS leadership placed Lerner on administrative leave in late-May, after an inspector general’s audit found that the agency had inappropriately applied extra scrutiny to tax-exemption applicants based on their political leanings.

Lerner, who was a top manager with the IRS’s exempt-organizations division, invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination rather than testifying before a congressional panel in May. She first insisted at the hearing that she had done nothing wrong.

To connect with Josh Hicks, follow his Twitter feed or e-mail  josh.hicks@washpost.comFor more federal news, visit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page and Post Politics. E-mail federalworker@washpost.com with news tips and other suggestions.

Josh Hicks covers the federal government and anchors the Federal Eye blog. He reported for newspapers in the Detroit and Seattle suburbs before joining the Post as a contributor to Glenn Kessler’s Fact Checker blog in 2011.
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Eric Yoder | September 23, 2013