IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel Punished and Suspended for Frivolous Spending


Internal Revenue Service officials can expect a grilling when they face lawmakers over the latest controversy to rock the agency: lavish spending at employee conferences.

IRS Staff Blame Washington for Targeting Conservatives

Two Internal Revenue Service employees in the agency’s Cincinnati office told congressional investigators that IRS officials in Washington helped direct the probe of tea-party groups that began in 2010.

Transcripts of the interviews, viewed Wednesday by The Wall Street Journal, appear to contradict earlier statements by top IRS officials, who have blamed lower-level workers in Cincinnati.

Liberal groups say they don’t see IRS targeting their tax applications

“During the Bush administration we often thought the IRS was not doing enough, so the scrutiny we got was fair,” said Liz Wally, the executive director of Clean Elections Texas. The nonpartisan group and its education fund, which promote public financing of elections, received tax-exempt status within months of applying in 2010.

Daniel Werfel’s IRS discipline wins praise on Hill
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Acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel is placing two officials — including a top staffer implementing the health care law — on administrative leave for violating government ethics rules at a 2010 conference.

“When I came to IRS, part of my job was to hold people accountable,” Werfel said in a statement Wednesday. “There was clearly inappropriate behavior in this situation and immediate action is needed.”

IRS officials suspended for taking gifts
The IRS said the staffers were put on leave over a private party in an Anaheim hotel suite where “food was allegedly inappropriately provided free of charge in violation of government ethics standards.”
According to congressional sources, the staffers received more than $1,100 in free food at the conference in Anaheim, which was the centerpiece of a Treasury audit on wasteful IRS spending released this week.

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