IRS Scandal Claims Second Agency Casualty: Joseph Grant To Retire Over Controversy

UPDATE 5:30 p.m. EDT: Grant was promoted to deputy director of the IRS' tax exempt and government entities division on May 8 -- just eight days ago. A statement from Grant's erstwhile boss, Steven Miller, praised Grant and another IRS official being promoted as "strong leaders who will provide strong leadership and continuity in these critical parts of the IRS."

UPDATE 5:18 p.m. EDT: A bit of background --- according to the IRS, the "mission" of Grant's division is ""to provide [tax exempt/government entity] customers top quality service by helping them understand and comply with applicable tax laws and to protect the public interest by applying the tax law with integrity and fairness to all."

UPDATE 5:02 p.m. EDT: Joseph Grant has been named as the IRS official who plans on retiring, according to the AP. Grant, who heads the agency's tax exempt and government entities division, will retire June 3. 

This is a breaking news story. Stay tuned for updates.

The IRS scandal over the agency’s alleged targeting of tea party groups appears to have claimed a second casualty.

Following Wednesday’s resignation of acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller, a second unnamed IRS official will be retiring in wake of the scandal, according to a tweet from the Associated Press. The tweet cites an IRS memo but gives no other information:

 

 

The scandal broke on Friday, when a report from the IRS inspector general's office was leaked to the media that indicated the agency was targeting for audits tea party and conservative groups who were seeking 501 (c)(4) designation, which would make them tax-emempt organizations.

Obama addressed the nation about the scandal on Wednesday, when he announced that Miller handed in his resignation. The president also said the IRS actions were "unnaceptable" during a joint press conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"What I'm absolutely certain of is the actions described in that IG report is unacceptable . ...It is just simply unacceptable for there to be even a hint of ... ideology when it comes to the application of our tax laws ," Obama said from the Rose Garden in the White House. "My main conern is fixing a problem and we began that process yesterday by asking and accepting the resignation of the [IRS] acting director. We will be putting in new leadership to follow up on the IG audit, get all the facts."

Shortly after the news conference ended, Obama announced the appointment of budget official Danny Werfel to head the IRS. Wefel's first day on the job is expected to be May 22.

“Throughout his career working in both Democratic and Republican administrations, Danny has proven an effective leader who serves with professionalism, integrity and skill,” the president said in a statement announcing the appointment. “The American people deserve to have the utmost confidence and trust in their government, and as we work to get to the bottom of what happened and restore confidence in the IRS, Danny has the experience and management ability necessary to lead the agency at this important time.”

 

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