Paul L. Caron

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The IRS Scandal, 1172

IRS Logo 2Politico, IRS Manager Punished for Attending Obama Rally on Work Trip:

A supervisor at the Internal Revenue Service has received a 14-day suspension for ditching work in 2012 to attend a re-election rally for President Barack Obama.

The IRS official's actions violated the Hatch Act, a federal law limiting politicking by government employees, according to a statement Wednesday from the Office of Special Counsel. ...

The statement did not name the IRS staffer, but said she is an "operations manager" for the tax agency. The 14-day unpaid suspension was agreed to by the worker as part of a settlement that also resolved charges she violated the tax agency's internal code of conduct, the statement said.

"Federal employees are encouraged to participate in the political process, but they must do so on their own time, outside the workplace, and in their personal capacity,” Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner said.

Several enforcement actions have been taken against IRS personnel for political activity in the 2012 election cycle.

In 2014, Lerner's office announced that an IRS help line worker received a 100-day unpaid suspension for urging callers to support Obama and for reciting a pro-Obama chant "based on the spelling of the employee's last name."

The personnel actions come amid continuing Republican complaints of anti-conservative bias at the tax agency. Some House GOP lawmakers are pressing a drive to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen over his alleged lack of cooperation with Congressional investigations into the bias claims.

IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink


An open letter to Paul Caron:

Like a lot of tax professionals, I occasionally check on recent entries on your blog. I long ago-over 1,000 days ago-gave up even skimming your "IRS scandal" series.

This morning, having awakened very early on the river Volga, I was scrolling past your most recent "scandal" story when it caught my eye because it included the name "Lerner". Was Lois back in the news? I thought she had retired years ago.

My Interest piqued, I learned that the story involved someone named Carolyn Lerner. I also discovered that the story was a nothing burger: some IRS employee is alleged to have violated the Hatch Act. Is this part of the "scandal"? Finally, I noticed that the caption for the entry omitted the word "day". "IRS scandal, 1172", it says. A subconscious omission that you've long ago exhausted your run?

Paul, time to exercise your editorial discretion. Put this series to bed.

Best, George

Posted by: George Yin | Jul 24, 2016 8:28:56 PM