Lois Lerner reportedly accessing IRS computer system while on leave

Lois LernerAs outrageous as the sordid details surrounding the IRS scandal are, the latest development may be the most outrageous of all.

Lois Lerner is the IRS unit chief that oversaw the tax-exempt applications department that targeted conservative groups for additional scrutiny. Several of these groups received letters from the IRS asking for unusual information, some of which bore Lerner’s signature.

When called before Congress to shed light on what had taken place, Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refused to testify.

Subsequently, Lerner was placed on administrative leave, with pay, after refusing a request to resign.

We are now learning that Lerner “has not had any of her computer access restricted since she abdicated her responsibilities, according to an IRS source with knowledge of the situation,” as reported by National Review Online.

Furthermore, according to the source, Lerner logged into the IRS’s computer system using her agency computer as recently as June 4 — she has been on administrative leave since May 21.  And she can access the same information that was available to her before she was placed on leave.

The sources told National Review Online:

If your duties do not include dealing with taxpayers, you are forbidden from seeing the information. That is a violation of IRS policy, and if she actually accesses any file that contains any Personal Identifiable Information, it is a felony violation. That would include emails that she has in her files discussing any taxpayer case that contains the name, address, phone numbers or tax data from a case.

All of which prompts a simple question: Why hasn’t Lois Lerner been fired? It’s bad enough that she is on a “paid” leave, but why is she allowed access to the IRS’s computer system? With the revelation that confidential data from several conservative groups was leaked by the IRS, it’s a fair question to ask.

A timely report published Tuesday by Bloomberg News notes that the IRS has fired fewer workers for misconduct this year than at any time since 2002. Public sector unions have never had it so well.

National Review notes that Lerner’s hard drive was copied weeks ago and uploaded to a secure server accessible to investigators looking into the IRS scandal.


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Tom Tillison


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