Lois Lerner, Official In 'Targeting Scandal,' Quits IRS

  on
IRS Lois Lerner Wash DC May 2013
IRS says a computer crash destroyed e-mails subpoenaed by three House committees investigating the agency's handling of requests for tax exemptions by tea party and other organizations.

Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service official who admitted that the agency unfairly targeted tea party groups, has resigned from her post effective Monday, the IRS announced.

Lerner has been on paid administration leave since May, when she said in a statement that IRS officials targeted groups with “Tea Party” or “Patriot” in their name. While Lerner has been technically employed by the IRS ever since, Bloomberg reports an IRS board was about to begin the firing process at the time of her resignation.  

At a May hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Lerner notoriously chose not to testify, invoking her Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination.

“I am very proud of the work that I have done,” Lerner said at the time. “I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws.”

Since then, numerous leading Republicans have called for further inquiry into Lerner’s role in the scandal, leading to investigations from three congressional committees as well as the Department of Justice.

Republicans insist that, despite Lerner’s resignation, the investigations into the IRS’ actions are not over.

“Just because Lois Lerner is retiring from the IRS does not mean the investigation is over,” Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement. “Far from it. In fact, there are many serious unanswered questions that must be addressed so we can get to the truth.”

Democrats, meanwhile, insist that Lerner’s resignation has no bearing on whether or not the IRS had any real political motive in its targeting programs.

“Lois Lerner is being held responsible for her gross mismanagement of the IRS tax-exempt division, which led to improper handling of applications for tax-exempt status, whether conservative or progressive,” Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan, the ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, said in a statement. “As has been the case in all aspects of the current IRS investigation, the IRS Internal Review Board found no evidence of political bias in her neglect of duties.”

Join the Discussion