Fox News is reporting that Lois Lerner, the IRS official who refused to testify at a house congressional hearing on Wednesday has now been placed on administrative leave, with pay, after refusing to resign. Lerner oversaw the unit that has been under investigation for allegedly targeting conservative groups to receive extra scrutiny in audits and tax exempt status requests.
According to Fox News:
Capitol Hill sources said Lois Lerner, the director of exempt organizations, was placed on leave. It comes amid calls from some lawmakers for her to be suspended or fired.
Lerner, the official who first acknowledged the controversial IRS practice earlier this month, asserted her innocence at a House hearing on Wednesday. She then refused to testify, citing her Fifth Amendment right not to answer questions.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, though, said Lerner was only placed on leave because she has refused to step down and resign her position, Fox News also reported.
“My understanding is the new acting IRS commissioner asked for Ms. Lerner’s resignation, and she refused to resign. She was then put on administrative leave instead,” Fox reported Grassley said in a statement. “The IRS owes it to taxpayers to resolve her situation quickly. The agency needs to move on to fix the conditions that led to the targeting debacle.”
Committee chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., is planning to invite her back in an attempt to get more answers after determining Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment right by giving an opening statement, but it is unclear when that will happen.
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