IRS' Lerner Placed on Leave

Move comes after her non-testimony on Capitol Hill
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2013 5:00 PM CDT
Lois Lerner, head of the IRS unit that decides whether to grant tax-exempt status to groups, appears on Capitol Hill Wednesday. She took the Fifth.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – The IRS official at the center of the recent scandal has been placed on administrative leave, reports the National Review. Lois Lerner had been in charge of the agency's tax-exempt unit, which singled out conservative groups for added scrutiny. Her immediate boss already has been forced into early retirement, and critics have been calling for Lerner's head to roll as well. (Her role in using a planted question to make the controversy public hasn't helped her cause.)

On Capitol Hill yesterday, Lerner denied any wrongdoing but invoked the Fifth in refusing to answer questions. The chair of the House Oversight panel, Darrell Issa, says he plans to call her back to testify, arguing that she waived her right to the Fifth by making an opening statement, reports the Hill. The decision to put Lerner on leave comes days after the new acting chief of the IRS, Daniel Werfel, took over. (Read more IRS stories.)

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