Two IRS employees will join Lois Lerner on (paid) administrative leave for violating government ethics rules, following the release of an inspector general’s report on wasteful spending at the agency:
The Internal Revenue Service has placed two employees on administrative leave — and is starting the process to fire them — for their involvement in a 2010 conference in Anaheim that cost taxpayers $4.1 million.
The Anaheim conference — which featured lavish presidential suites, video skits and gifts for IRS employees — was the most expensive conference examined in an inspector general’s report this week that found $49 million in conference spending over three years.
The employees were suspended on the basis of a new allegation about that conference, where IRS employees allegedly received free food in a party suite in violation of government ethics rules. The IRS said acting commissioner Danny Werfel learned of the new allegations from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Tuesday night.
“When I came to IRS, part of my job was to hold people accountable,” said Werfel in a written statement. “There was clearly inappropriate behavior involved in this situation, and immediate action is needed.”
One of the employees has been identified as Fred Schindler, deputy to Sarah Ingram Hall, the former commissioner of the IRS tax exempt and government entities division at the heart of the targeting scandal, who is currently overseeing the implementation of Obamacare.
The House Oversight Committee will examine the inspector general’s report in a hearing on Thursday.