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Report: Top IRS Official Who Pleaded the Fifth Placed on Administrative Leave -- What Does It Mean?

"Due to the events of recent days, I am on administrative leave starting today."

Internal Revenue Service Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner(C) is seated before testifying to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee May 22, 2013 in Washington, DC. The committee is investigating allegations that the IRS targeted conservative non-profit organizations with the words 'tea party' and 'constitution' in their names for additional scrutiny. Lerner, who headed the division that oversees exempt organizations, plans to assert her constitutional right not to answer questions. Others testifying L-R are: J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Douglas Shulman, Former Commissioner, Former Commissioner,Internal Revenue Service and Neal S. Wolin, Deputy Secretary, Department of the Treasury. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

UPDATE: Lerner was reportedly asked to resign by Danny Werfel, the newly installed acting IRS commissioner, but refused. From Politico:

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), a senior member of the tax writing Finance Committee, said in a statement Thursday that Lerner was placed on administrative leave after she refused a request from Danny Werfel, the newly installed acting IRS commissioner, to resign.

“My understanding is the new acting IRS commissioner asked for Ms. Lerner’s resignation, and she refused to resign,” Grassley said. “She was then put on administrative leave instead. From all accounts so far, the IRS acting commissioner was on solid ground to ask for her resignation.”

Internal Revenue Service Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Lois Lerner, a top IRS official at the center of the agency's targeting scandal, has been placed on administrative leave, a source in the IRS' Cincinnati official told National Review.

Lerner, director of exempt organizations at the IRS, reportedly sent an email to employees on Thursday announcing that she would be on administrative leave.

"Due to the events of recent days, I am on administrative leave starting today," Lerner reportedly wrote.

"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 continued. "I thank you for all your hard work and dedication…The work you do is important."

During Wednesday's House Oversight Committee hearing, Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and did not answer any questions from lawmakers. However, she did deliver an opening statements, saying "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," NRO reports.

Featured image via AFP/Getty

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