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IRS replaces official: How many heads will roll?

IRS replaces the official who oversaw the agents that targeted tea party groups, placing her on paid leave after she refused to resign. Her replacement is a 27-year IRS veteran.

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Lois Lerner, the official who refused to answer questions at a congressional hearing yesterday, has been replaced as director of the IRS division overseeing agents who targeted tea party groups. Danny Werfel, the IRS's new acting commissioner, emailed IRS employees today that he has selected a new acting head of the division.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

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Moving quickly to stem a raging controversy, the new acting head of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) started cleaning house Thursday by replacing the supervisor who oversaw agents involved in targeting tea party groups.

A day after she refused to answer questions at a congressional hearing, Lois Lerner was placed on administrative leave, according to congressional sources.

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, a senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said Lerner was asked to resign but refused, so she was placed on leave. An IRS spokeswoman said the agency could not comment on Lerner's status because it was a private personnel matter.

Danny Werfel, the agency's new acting commissioner, told IRS employees in an email that he had selected a new acting head of the division, staying within the IRS to find new leadership.

Ken Corbin, a 27-year IRS veteran, will be the new acting director of the agency's exempt organizations division. Corbin currently is a deputy director in the wage and investment division, where he oversees 17,000 workers responsible for processing 172 million individual and business tax returns, Werfel said.

Werfel's email Thursday made no mention of Lerner. But congressional aides who were briefed on the matter confirmed that Lerner was placed on paid administrative leave. The aides spoke on condition of anonymity because a personnel matter was involved.

"From all accounts so far, the IRS acting commissioner was on solid ground to ask for her resignation," Grassley said in a statement. "The IRS owes it to taxpayers to resolve her situation quickly. The agency needs to move on to fix the conditions that led to the targeting debacle. She shouldn't be in limbo indefinitely on the taxpayers' dime."

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