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IRS places Lois Lerner on administrative leave in latest fallout from Tea Party tax exemption review snafu

Lois Lerner_IRS Director of Exempt OrganizationsThere apparently was no constitutional recourse that Lois Lerner could use to stave off actions of her own employer.

Lerner has been relieved of her duties as director of the Internal Revenue Service's Exempt Organizations (EO) unit.

Her apology on May 10 for the actions of EO employees in Cincinnati who inappropriately screened tax-exemption applications from conservative groups set additional investigative wheels in motion.

The 34-year federal employee (she also held positions at the Justice Department and the Federal Elections Commission before joining the IRS), Lerner became director of the IRS' tax-exempt unit in 2006.

Fifth and out: On Wednesday, Lerner invoked the Fifth Amendment in refusing to answer questions from the House Oversight and Government Operations Committee. Before doing so, she read a statement in which she avowed, "I have not done anything wrong."

Eliana Johnson, writing for The Corner blog at National Review Online, was the first to report that Lerner was today placed on administrative leave.

The website printed text from an email Lerner sent to employees in her division:

"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. I thank you for all your hard work and dedication. The work you do is important."

Replacement named: The IRS did not publicly announce Lerner's removal from her job, but it did announce that Ken Corbin has been selected to be the acting Director, Exempt Organizations, Tax Exempt/Government Entities Division.

Corbin moves to his new post from the IRS' Wage and Investment (W&I) Division, where he was Deputy Director, Submission Processing. In that job, he was responsible for 17,000 employees who are charged with processing around 172 million annual individual and business tax returns.

Prior to that, Corbin was in my neck of the woods. He was Field Director of the Austin, Texas, Submission Processing Center. He started with the IRS at the Atlanta Service Center in 1986.

"Ken is a proven leader during challenging times. He has strong management experience inside the IRS handling a wide range of processing issues and compliance topics as well as taxpayer service areas. Combined with his track record of leading large work groups, these skills make him an ideal choice to help lead the Exempt Organizations area through this difficult period," said Acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel in the statement announcing Corbin's new position.

Apparently it really is becoming all IRS, all the time, not only with my postings at Bankrate Taxes Blog, but also here on the ol' blog.

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