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by
Bryan Preston

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May 23, 2013 - 2:15 pm

NRO’s Eliana Johnson reports that some disciplinary action may have been taken against IRS abuse scandal figure Lois Lerner.

Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service’s director of exempt organizations, has been placed on administrative leave, according to a source in the agency’s Cincinnati office.

Lerner on Thursday afternoon sent an e-mail to employees in the exempt-organizations division she oversees stating, “Due to the events of recent days, I am on administrative leave starting today. An announcement will be made shortly informing you who will be acting while I am on administrative leave. I know all of you will continue to support EO’s mission during these difficult times.” She concluded, “I thank you for all your hard work and dedication,” adding, “The work you do is important.”

So important that it helped Barack Obama win re-election.

IRS agents such as Lerner are supposed to avoid committing the “10 Deadly Sins.” According to GovExec, they are:

1. Willful failure to obtain the required approval signatures on documents authorizing the seizure of a taxpayer’s home, personal belongings or business assets.

2. Providing a false statement under oath with respect to a material matter involving a taxpayer or taxpayer representative.

3. With respect to a taxpayer, taxpayer representative or other employee of the IRS, the violation of any right under the Constitution or federal laws such as the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1990 Americans W ith Disabilities Act.

4. Falsifying or destroying documents to conceal mistakes made by any employee with respect to a matter involving a taxpayer or taxpayer representative.

5. Assault or battery on a taxpayer, taxpayer representative or other employee of the IRS-but only if there is a criminal conviction, or a final judgment by a court in a civil case, with respect to the assault or battery.

6. Violations of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, Treasury Department regulations or IRS policies for the purpose of retaliating against, or harassing, a taxpayer, taxpayer representative, or other employee of the IRS.

7. Willful misuse of the provisions of Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 for the purpose of concealing information from a congressional inquiry.

8. Willful failure to file any return of tax required under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 on or before the date prescribed to do so.

9. Willful understatement of federal tax liability.

10. Threatening to audit a taxpayer for the purpose of extracting personal gain or benefit.

She violated at least three of those. Maybe it takes violating a majority of them to get fired?

Update: The official IRS timeline of abuse says that Lerner learned of it in 2012 and stopped it. Turns out, whenever she learned of it, she sent letters out to several of the abused groups that continued it.

Lerner, the director of the IRS exempt organizations office in Washington, D.C., signed cover letters to 15 conservative organizations currently represented by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) between in March and April of 2012. The letters, such as this one sent to the Ohio Liberty Council on March 16, 2012, informed the groups applying for tax-exempt status that the IRS was “unable to make a final determination on your exempt status without additional information,” and included a list of detailed questions of the kind that a Treasury inspector general’s audit found to be inappropriate. Some of the groups to which Lerner sent letters are still awaiting approval.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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Top Rated Comments   
Several times during my career in government I asked, even begged, to be placed on Admin Leave. Please, please, please send me home and keep paying me. Tough duty!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (13)
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She needs time to prep her answers.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If you understand the Declaration of Independence you will understand that the ultimate authority in this country derives from any group of people numerous enough to declare that our government is a tyranny.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'll agree with you that she probably violated the letter of this law, but you have to understand the mentality of the government these days. The idea is you pass a law to "send a message" and then ignore it, because you believe it to be unenforceable. So when "gun violence" is the topic, Senators and Congressmen "take a bold stand against guns" and then pass a Federal law prohibiting people from carrying a gun within a certain distance of a school, or some such idiocy.

Here, they passed a bunch of laws essentially requiring employees of the IRS to do a bunch of things, or they'll be fired. Every time I look up there's another story about how a bunch of employees of the IRS are behind on their taxes, haven't paid them at all, etc. Look at #8 and #9. Of course, if they enforced this they'd be unable to fill the jobs after firing these people, what with full employment and so forth...oh wait...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
you do realize that she and this administration really live in that alternate reality where they believe they didn't do anything wrong...and expect the other shoe to drop...like she just got a huge performance bonus, or will now retire on a $200k pension ...or sumpin'
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"you play the scapegoat, if you do...we'll set you up with a cushy, high paying job for the rest of your life in a crony PARTY COMPANY..."

Administrative leave in this administration means you either hop on the bus or under it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
another word for "leave with pay" is vacation.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The lady who talked more than anybody I ever heard who took the 5th.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Several times during my career in government I asked, even begged, to be placed on Admin Leave. Please, please, please send me home and keep paying me. Tough duty!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yeah, but it goes in your Permanent Record. Like that matters if you have pals in government.

Do you think people forget that there's more to government than regulations? That a lot of it - especially at executive levels - is just people doing favors for each other?

Down here in the trenches, we pretty much have to follow the written rules. My boss's boss's bosses - they're like chimpanzees grooming each other and sucking up to the Alpha Male. Or like high school, with little cliques and in-groups and out-groups. People stuff. Same organization, totally way of doing business.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"totally *different* way of doing business.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As I recall, in the BBC series "Yes, Prime Minister," administrative leave was greatly feared in the Civil Service and was referred to as "gardening leave."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What it is technically is any relief from normal duty that doesn't reduce your pay or accrued leave. Under the USSC's Loudermill v. Cleveland Board decision a public employee cannot be suspended or dismissed without due process. In this context an employee accused of misconduct of a sort that would necessitate their removal from the workplace is placed on administrative leave until they can be given proper notice of the charges against them, an explanation of the evidence against them, and an opportunity to offer any obviating or mitigating facts. In a sane world managers and labor relations staff hate admin leave because it rewards a misbehaving employee with paid time off, so it is rarely used by honest employers. In twenty years of LR practice after Loudermill was handed down in '86, I could count on my fingers the number of times an employee was placed on admin leave for more than a day or two. If they were a threat to other employees, were suspected of stealing, improperly using confidential data, etc., you wanted to remove them from the workplace immediately so they couldn't continue the misconduct or tamper with witnesses or evidence. Then you gave them their interview, usually accompanied by a union rep or in very rare instances an attorney, and took the appropriate disciplinary action. In this case, they're just using admin leave to make it look like they're doing something and to get her out of the workplace and away from prying eyes. Plus, she may well have some subordinates that are deeply resentful of her placing them at risk. Having been there, career public employees, especially fairly high-level ones, really, really don't like political management putting them in a position where they are forced to do something they know to be improper or illegal or they have to quit. When I was put in that position I quit my executive branch job and went to work for the Legislature with my former boss's misery as my mission.

In the "Yes, minister" context it means that you're high-up enough that it would attract bad attention to fire you or you're too well-connected or too well-known to fire, but they are taking your duties and authority away from you. Here it often happens to high-level merit system/career employees when Democrats take over from Republicans. Democrats always have a hit list and they are definitively not respectful of merit system protections or union contracts. The worst "offenders" get fired outright, the rest just get reorganized out of any authority and before long have an office with no windows, a seat that flushes, and no phone or email. When that happens, you can either put your head down and count days until the next election or your retirement or you can quit. If you're high enough up the organization to matter enough to be treated like this, you're probably in your 40s or 50s and most of your experience is in doing something only government does. The ones usually targeted are those with authority over money, people, and stuff and government managerial skills in those areas really only transfer to very large organizations who almost never hire from outside at the managerial level. If you leave because you're cross-threaded with a Democrat government, you cannot work for government or any entity that does business with government. When I rather noisily quit under a Democrat Administration the head of the State AFL-CIO very publicly said he'd see that I never worked again. I was in a position to say "I wasn't planning to work for anybody who'd listen to you" and I'd made sure, as sure as you can in government, that I had a landing spot. If you don't have a landing spot arranged, you're out there as a middle-aged entry level applicant and there aren't a lot of businesses looking for those, so you'd best like that funny McDonald's hat or WalMart blue vests. It is a long fall from $80 - $100K/yr. or more to $10/hr.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Seems like 6 would be applicable here. Maybe 10, if you stretch the meaning of "personal benefit" to include helping your preferred candidate win an election.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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