Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service’s director of exempt organizations, has been placed on administrative leave, according to a source in the agency’s Cincinnati office.
Lerner on Thursday afternoon sent an e-mail to employees in the exempt-organizations division she oversees stating, “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.” She concluded, “I thank you for all your hard work and dedication,” adding, “The work you do is important.”
At a House oversight-committee hearing yesterday, Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right and refused to answer questions posed to her by lawmakers, stating only, “I did nothing wrong.” She has been at the center of the scandal roiling the IRS and the Obama administration since she clumsily planted the question that allowed her to reveal — and apologize for — the agency’s improper targeting of tea-party and other conservative groups.