IRS employee suspended for urging taxpayers to ‘reelect President Obama’

posted at 3:21 pm on July 10, 2014 by Noah Rothman

One of the many damning emails sent by former IRS official Lois Lerner before her critical and potentially damning communications mysteriously vanished was what the press dubbed a “joke” about how the former head of the tax-exemption division wanted to join Team Obama’s political wing. She wasn’t the only IRS employee who apparently flirted with giving President Barack Obama a political boost from their position at the nation’s tax collection agency.

According to a release from the United States Office of Special Counsel (OSC) regarding two recently resolved cases pertaining to violations of the Hatch Act, one IRS employee was recently suspended after it had been determined that the employee “urged taxpayers to reelect President Barack Obama in 2012.”

“OSC’s complaint alleged that, when fielding taxpayers’ questions on an IRS customer service help line, the employee repeatedly urged taxpayers to reelect President Obama in 2012 by delivering a chant based on the spelling of the employee’s last name,” the OSC release read. “In the settlement agreement resolving the complaint, the IRS employee acknowledged that he had used his authority and influence as an IRS customer service representative for a political purpose and did so while at work.”

The employee agreed to a 100-day suspension as part of an agreement resolving this violation of federal law.

This complaint was first revealed on April 9 when the OSC announced that it was seeking “significant disciplinary action” against this unnamed IRS customer-service representative.

That news came as another IRS official in a Kentucky office was suspended for two weeks after telling a taxpayer that she was “for” the Democrats because the Republican platform sought to “cap my pension” and “to take women back 40 years.”

“I’m not supposed to voice my opinion so you didn’t hear me saying that,” the disciplined tax specialist told the person on the other end of the recorded phone conversation.

In all the many complaints lodged against the conduct of IRS officials, it makes you wonder why you never see any alleging an IRS employee displayed a disturbing pro-Republican bias.


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A ‘suspension’??????

faraway on July 10, 2014 at 3:26 PM

The Thug, who’s chief, from of all people Eleanor Clift

For all that, Abramson notes that Bush did not launch a criminal investigation to find the source of the Times story. “Obama is very different,” she said, pointing out that he has ordered eight criminal investigations into whistleblowers, twice the number of all previous presidents combined, and a year ago secretly subpoenaed the phone and email records of reporters at Fox News and the Associated Press.

Schadenfreude on July 10, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Burn it down.

Cicero43 on July 10, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Obama turned the IRS into a Dem GOTV effort. Can’t wait for 2016.

He is shipping hundreds of thousands of new voters to red cities as we speak.

faraway on July 10, 2014 at 3:28 PM

The only surprising thing here is that they were disciplined at all for this.

GWB on July 10, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Suspended?

Is that the new way to spell promoted?

LegendHasIt on July 10, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Your government at work. Against you.

Cicero43 on July 10, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Screw suspensions outright fire them period. The only thing these weaksauce penalties does is incite more government employees to do the same again and again especially when the penalty for such a violation of the law is what amounts to less than a slap on the wrist.

terlizzi99 on July 10, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Probably 100 days off with pay.

Kat_man on July 10, 2014 at 3:29 PM

If he’d been supporting McCain or Romney he’d be in jail.

Time to kill the IRS.

Iblis on July 10, 2014 at 3:29 PM

In all the many complaints lodged against the conduct of IRS officials, it makes you wonder why you never see any alleging an IRS employee displayed a disturbing pro-Republican bias.

Because they would be fired.

And they would have no careers and be subjected to ungodly harassment from their ultra liberal government coworkers. If you work in federal government, you learn to keep conservative opinions to yourself, and to accept the constant praise of all things liberal from the people who write your evals, and determine promotions, work hours and job assignments

The pro obama workers should have been fired, without mercy

The Hatch act is the barrier between civilization and the third world. Without the Hatch act, the government would be one big shakedown operation

It is more shocking that these employees were not fired

entagor on July 10, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Suspended……not fired.

Gotta love civil service protections.

Bitter Clinger on July 10, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Suspended with pay? That would be rewarding them not punishing them.

Flange on July 10, 2014 at 3:32 PM

The Chicago Way.

formwiz on July 10, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Can I also get a paid suspension if I, say, rob a few banks?

Rix on July 10, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Suspended with or without pay?

talking_mouse on July 10, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Probably 100 days off with pay.

Kat_man on July 10, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Suspensions are without pay. Administrative Leave is the paid vacation.

Johnnyreb on July 10, 2014 at 3:36 PM

And they would have no careers and be subjected to ungodly harassment from their ultra liberal government coworkers. If you work in federal government, you learn to keep conservative opinions to yourself, and to accept the constant praise of all things liberal from the people who write your evals, and determine promotions, work hours and job assignments

entagor on July 10, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Sounds like Hollywood and the LSM.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 10, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Abolish Public Sector Unions.

Our employees don’t need “protection” from We The People.

Abolish them.

Key West Reader on July 10, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Just suspended?

darwin on July 10, 2014 at 3:38 PM

That news came as another IRS official in a Kentucky office was suspended for two weeks after telling a taxpayer that she was “for” the Democrats because the Republican platform sought to “cap my pension” and “to take women back 40 years.”

“I’m not supposed to voice my opinion so you didn’t hear me saying that,” the disciplined tax specialist told the person on the other end of the recorded phone conversation.

She has a “pension”? Why?

I don’t have a pension and I’ve been busting my butt since age 14 and paying taxes.

Question: Do Public Sector Union Employees pay taxes? If they do, It’s to fund their own salaries.

I don’t think they pay taxes.

Key West Reader on July 10, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Suspended mind you, not fired. F’n public sector unions.

Hill60 on July 10, 2014 at 3:41 PM

I’m surprised they could get this done without an Issa led Congressional investigation. By the time Issa’s done with Lois Lerner he’ll probably punish her by doubling her pension!!

Deano1952 on July 10, 2014 at 3:41 PM

It takes years to get someone fired from federal service.

It is insane, even if someone has gone off the deep end and actually attacked someone, it still takes the better part of a year to get them canned.

The civil service system is corrupt at its base.

Five years of service and then up or out. The entire thing needs a complete turnover in personnel top to bottom.

ajacksonian on July 10, 2014 at 3:42 PM

That news came as another IRS official in a Kentucky office was suspended for two weeks after telling a taxpayer that she was “for” the Democrats because the Republican platform sought to “cap my pension” and “to take women back 40 years.”

I thought women liked to lie about their age.

blammm on July 10, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Burn it down.

Cicero43 on July 10, 2014 at 3:28 PM

no, nuke it. that way they cannot build a new “improved” IRS at that place for a long time to come.

(obviously, figuratively speaking, just a clarification for the deranged troll who still supports the liar-in-chief or someone with the intellect of those guys that frisk you at the airport)

huntingmoose on July 10, 2014 at 3:45 PM

The employee agreed to a 100-day suspension as part of an agreement resolving this violation of federal law.

As I recall, when I was in the Navy we had a saying, “Brig time is dead time.” Since this leftist maggot was only suspended, was the suspension with, or without pay? And will it push their retirement date back 100 days? Or will they just go back to work with a bonus and a promotion for being a King Putt Pimp?

oldleprechaun on July 10, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Burn it down.
Burn it all down.

ROCnPhilly on July 10, 2014 at 3:47 PM

No doubt the answer to this problem will be to increase the IRS’s budget…

… No doubt.

Seven Percent Solution on July 10, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Another small – emphasis on small – advance in the IRS email scandal:

Federal judge orders IRS to explain lost Lerner emails ‘under oath’

Perhaps the courts can pursue what Congress cannot.

climbnjump on July 10, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Suspended just means that he’s being re-assigned. No one loses their government job.

RdLake on July 10, 2014 at 3:53 PM

So the beeech gets a paid vacation ?

burrata on July 10, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Ready for a flat tax.

Cherokee on July 10, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Cassette player crash in 3 … 2 … 1 …

corona79 on July 10, 2014 at 3:56 PM

“Hello, this is Peggy. Vote for Obama.”

faraway on July 10, 2014 at 3:58 PM

climbnjump on July 10, 2014 at 3:52 PM

What’s up with this? I suppose the judge is giving the IRS one last chance to fess up, with the sword of Damocles hanging over the IRS’s head that if he smells a rat, he’ll let the movants have their run of the IRS computers. And if anything is found, they’ll be on the hook for that wrongdoing as well as perjury.

BuckeyeSam on July 10, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Abolish Public Sector Unions.

Our employees don’t need “protection” from We The People.

Abolish them.

Key West Reader on July 10, 2014 at 3:37 PM

So, the government is We the People now? I get your point-that is, how it’s supposed to be-but it simply isn’t.

Why would so many of us see government as our oppressors, and yet think those that work for them should just suck it up? Why would we think that bureaucrats treat us like slaves, but be nice to those in their charge without union protections?

Makes no sense.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 10, 2014 at 4:03 PM

She should be fired, along with the rest of the people who ‘skirted’ this. People need to be afraid of using their public jobs to push for political goals.

LilyBart on July 10, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Is there any crime an IRS goon can commit that would warrant firing?

kpguru on July 10, 2014 at 4:08 PM

She has a “pension”? Why?

I don’t have a pension and I’ve been busting my butt since age 14 and paying taxes.

Question: Do Public Sector Union Employees pay taxes? If they do, It’s to fund their own salaries.

I don’t think they pay taxes.

Key West Reader on July 10, 2014 at 3:40 PM

They pay taxes, but they are overpaid by more than enough to cover taxes and max out a 401K Plus, they get that sweet taxpayer-guaranteed pension. So, no, they don’t pay taxes.

People who make an honest living either making things or delivering services in the private sector are the slaves of government drones such as these.

Burn it down. Burn it all.

ROCnPhilly on July 10, 2014 at 4:13 PM

BuckeyeSam on July 10, 2014 at 4:00 PM

As I understand it, the thrust of this is that Judicial Watch is claiming that the emails can’t be “lost” because they were under litigation hold at the time they went “missing” – meaning that the IRS was legally required to make sure they were preserved.

So the judge is requiring the IRS to explain under oath just how it was possible for that to have occurred.

I believe there is a separate lawsuit being brought by “True The Vote” and being heard by another judge that is also pursuing this angle. That hearing is tomorrow.

climbnjump on July 10, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Have no idea what liberal slant Noah put on this as I do not read anything he writes. Same goes for his previous article. We should ignore him. No comments and no clicks on his liberal crapola. He thinks we are inferior to him.

they lie on July 10, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Oh, a nice 100 day taxpayer paid vacation.

Defund the IRS NOW.

Meople on July 10, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Have no idea what liberal slant Noah put on this as I do not read anything he writes. Same goes for his previous article. We should ignore him. No comments and no clicks on his liberal crapola. He thinks we are inferior to him.

they lie on July 10, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Oh, this is HIS? I didn’t read the By line. Yeah, I already swore not to post under his drivel.

Ah well, I’ll get better at watching for his stuff and ignoring it.

Meople on July 10, 2014 at 4:24 PM

If I was those people, I would be pissed. Their bosses and their bosses’s bosses and their bosses’s bosses’s bosses got away with it.

cptacek on July 10, 2014 at 4:25 PM

The only surprising thing here is that they were disciplined at all for this.

GWB on July 10, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Don’t worry – they’ll be quietly reinstated once things cool down (when the next Obama-caused disaster happens).

Ward Cleaver on July 10, 2014 at 4:29 PM

A Federal Judge has given the IRS 30 days to explain ‘under oath’ the specifics of the missing emails….

A federal judge has ordered the IRS to explain “under oath” how the agency lost a trove of emails from the official at the heart of the Tea Party targeting scandal.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan gave the tax agency 30 days to file a declaration by an “appropriate official” to address the computer issues with ex-official Lois Lerner.

The decision came Thursday as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, which along with GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill has questioned how the IRS lost the emails and, in some cases, had no apparent way to retrieve them.

The IRS first acknowledged it lost the emails in a letter to senators last month.

“In our view, there has been a cover-up that has been going on,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “The Department of Justice, the IRS, had an obligation, an absolute obligation … to alert the court and alert Judicial Watch as soon as they knew when these records were supposedly lost.”

During the court hearing, Sullivan indicated he wanted the portion of the declaration on the computer issues to be wide-ranging, saying “that’s about as broad as I can make it.”

Attorney’s representing the IRS attempted to derail the efforts by making the case that this would impede a Treasury Department IG investigation – but the Judge was leery of that excuse and asked for additional explanation as to how it would derail any investigation in the materials due in 30 days.

This represents a real danger to the IRS – as more and more evidence becomes forthcoming that Lois Lerner and others deliberately worked to impede / prevent any oversight or accountability in their actions to squelch the free speech of conservative organizations.

Furthermore, it’s also becoming clear that the current IRS leadership is active in trying to impede any investigations – even to the point of attempting to use impotent or non-existent ‘investigations’ as a rationale to stop any efforts to hold the IRS and key officials accountable for their actions including the willful spoilage of evidence.

Athos on July 10, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Did they still collect performance bonuses?

Athos on July 10, 2014 at 4:32 PM

The employee agreed to a 100-day suspension as part of an agreement resolving this violation of federal law.</blockquot

Do I even have to ask if he/she was suspended with pay?

AUINSC on July 10, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Delivering a chant based on the spelling of the employee’s last name”? Oh you mean like, “Hey hey ho ho that IRS employee has got to go….”?

jake49 on July 10, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Probably 100 days off with pay.

Kat_man on July 10, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Suspensions are without pay. Administrative Leave is the paid vacation.

Johnnyreb on July 10, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Eligible for Unemployment Insurance?

slickwillie2001 on July 10, 2014 at 5:04 PM

In all the many complaints lodged against the conduct of IRS officials, it makes you wonder why you never see any alleging an IRS employee displayed a disturbing pro-Republican bias.

Obviously because unionized folks in bloated government agencies would tend to prefer the pro-union & pro-bloated government party.

When I was a letter carrier, most of my co-workers were obnoxiously liberal.
They couldn’t debate point-by-point. They would usually just call me names.

itsnotaboutme on July 10, 2014 at 5:08 PM

…And, as radical leftists, they would do things like delay or dispose of conservative bulk mail.

itsnotaboutme on July 10, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Government employees should be seen and not heard while they are at work, where we pay them to do their job, which is NOT electing democrats, not ever. They should not know how the person in the next cubicle votes or discuss politics on OUR time.

Fleuries on July 10, 2014 at 5:17 PM

To use the most powerful agency in the U.S. as a political hammer should be absolutely frightening to anyone who can still think (In other words not democrats).

The possibilities for total control of a society and in particular the ability to silence political opposition by controlling their money is something Stalin would envy.

So the penalty for such abuse should be massive….not 100 days without pay.

Along with the invasion of our borders…

This kind of behavior is worthy of revolution.

DWoDiego on July 10, 2014 at 5:29 PM

God forgive me, but sometimes I pray for disaster… SMOD style… It does not matter who wins in 2014 or 2016 or 2018 or any election after, if this cancerous bureaucracy cannot be utterly destroyed. The IRS can gang-audit you for your political beliefs, the EPA can seize your bank accounts if they don’t like a puddle in your backyard, the FDA can send a SWAT team to kick in your door if you were seen buying unpasteurized milk from an Amish farmer…

Total collapse is our only salvation. We can not vote our way out of this, because a politician running truthfully on a platform of dissolving this bureaucracy and returning these powers to the states where they belong would be attacked savagely from the establishment of both parties and could never win.

If things continue on this trajectory, someone is going to snap, and the country will be undergo a violent realignment. But whether it is revolt or collapse, the Realignment is coming… pick your poison…

PointnClick on July 10, 2014 at 6:31 PM

This kind of behavior is worthy of revolution.

DWoDiego on July 10, 2014 at 5:29 PM

When Nixon attempted this kind of behavior, it warranted becoming the 2nd Article of Impeachment that was going to be filed against him.

But today, it’s not smidgen of corruption in the most open and transparent Administration ever…

Athos on July 10, 2014 at 6:36 PM

God forgive me, but sometimes I pray for disaster… SMOD style… It does not matter who wins in 2014 or 2016 or 2018 or any election after, if this cancerous bureaucracy cannot be utterly destroyed. The IRS can gang-audit you for your political beliefs, the EPA can seize your bank accounts if they don’t like a puddle in your backyard, the FDA can send a SWAT team to kick in your door if you were seen buying unpasteurized milk from an Amish farmer…

Total collapse is our only salvation. We can not vote our way out of this, because a politician running truthfully on a platform of dissolving this bureaucracy and returning these powers to the states where they belong would be attacked savagely from the establishment of both parties and could never win.

If things continue on this trajectory, someone is going to snap, and the country will be undergo a violent realignment. But whether it is revolt or collapse, the Realignment is coming… pick your poison…

PointnClick on July 10, 2014 at 6:31 PM

What makes you think that after any collapse, the system that emerges from the rubble will be better? What are the odds? Can you think of an example in history where what emerged from a total collapse was some kind of conservative ideal?

slickwillie2001 on July 10, 2014 at 6:44 PM

What makes you think that after any collapse, the system that emerges from the rubble will be better? What are the odds? Can you think of an example in history where what emerged from a total collapse was some kind of conservative ideal?

slickwillie2001 on July 10, 2014 at 6:44 PM

That is indeed the scary part, Willie… I would like to think that the genius of the Founders will endure the Realignment… But you are correct; after a cursory examination of human history, smart money would bet that would not be the case.

But I do know this… what can not go on, will not go on…

PointnClick on July 10, 2014 at 6:53 PM

I smell Trumpka from the start.

Goodie on July 10, 2014 at 7:25 PM

Break the law- get a suspension? Anywhere else that is a firing offense.

GlobalTrvlr on July 10, 2014 at 10:16 PM