Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service official at the center of the agency’s political targeting scandal, has resigned effective Monday, a source familiar with the situation confirmed to Politico.
Internal Revenue Service Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner is seated before testifying to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee May 22, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)
As of this writing, the reason for Lerner's exit isn't entirely clear. However, the Accountability Review Board was reportedly "set to suggest Lerner's removal," The Washington Post notes.
The review board found that Lerner mismanaged her department and was “neglectful of duty” -- but it still hasn't found evidence of political bias, a source told Politico. So her resignation on Monday may have something to do with avoiding being fired.
A select number of congressmen were informed of the disgraced IRS official's retirement Monday.
Lerner was placed on paid administrative leave earlier this year after she invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during a congressional hearing on the IRS's targeting of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
She was “technically still employed" by the agency as recently as last week, according to acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel.
News of the agency's targeting scandal first came to light in May after Lerner staged a Q&A session at a conference in Washington, D.C., and apologized for the IRS’s actions. As the scandal began to unfold, it became known that the agency started targeting conservative groups as early as 2010.
As the former director of IRS' tax-exempt-organizations division, Lerner may know a great deal about who was responsible for the targeting and the extent to which conservative groups were singled out for harassment. However, having plead the Fifth, Congress has not yet been able to question Lerner on her involvement.
She is currently under a subpoena to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
“Just because Lois Lerner is retiring from the IRS does not mean the investigation is over,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement. “Far from it. In fact, there are many serious unanswered questions that must be addressed so we can get to the truth.”
And here's the kicker: having put in roughly three decades of civil service, Lerner's decision to resign means she will likely exit the IRS with her pension, Politico notes.
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Featured image Getty Images/TheBlaze. This post has been updated.