Lois Lerner, the Director of Tax-Exempt Organizations at the Internal Revenue Service, has been placed on administrative leave. The IRS announced that Ken Corbin will now serve as acting director.
The IRS’ new Acting Commissioner Daniel Werfel asked Lerner to resign. When she refused, she was then placed on administrative leave, according to NBC News.
Lerner was the first agency official to publicly acknowledge the current controversy when she responded to a question at a conference on May 10. The IRS has been under fire for giving special scrutiny to self-identified conservative groups.
Lerner has been under fire since invoking her 5th amendment rights Wednesday to avoid answering questions during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the matter.
“I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee,” she said at the hearing. “While I would very much like to answer the committee’s questions today, I’ve been advised by my counsel to assert my constitutional right not to testify or answer questions related to the subject matter of this hearing.”
Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, a senior member of the Finance Committee with Senate jurisdiction over the IRS, was quick to defend Werfel’s request for Lerner’s resignation.
“The IRS owes it to taxpayers to resolve her situation quickly,” he said in a statement. “The agency needs to move on to fix the conditions that led to the targeting debacle. She shouldn't be in limbo indefinitely on the taxpayers' dime.”
With reporting from Kelly O’Donnell.