According to multiple outlets, Lois Lerner, the IRS administrator who first revealed and is perhaps central to the scandal at the agency, has been placed on administrative leave.
The National Review quotes from an email that Lerner apparently sent to staff in the IRS's Exempt Organizations branch, for which Lerner serves as director.
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.”
The "events of recent days" obviously refers to Lerner's suddenly prominent role in the national political conversation. Two weeks ago Friday, Lerner asked an attorney named Celia Roady to ask her a question at a legal conference. That question led to Lerner giving an apology to Tea Party groups for the EO's having improperly singled them out for additional scrutiny. Yesterday, Lerner appeared before the House Oversight Committee where she invoked her Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate herself (probably successfully).
Bloomberg reports that a replacement has been named.
The IRS announced that Ken Corbin, a deputy director in another division of the tax agency, will be acting director of exempt organizations.
Corbin, who has been at the IRS since 1986, is a “proven leader during challenging times,” acting commissioner Danny Werfel wrote in a message to employees today.
"Administrative leave" is described in IRS Human Resources documents as "the placement of an employee in a non-duty status without charge to leave or loss of pay" — meaning Lerner will still receive her salary during this period.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.