No IRS official would face criminal charges arising from the political controversy over the processing of applications for tax-exempt status, the Justice Department announced Friday.
In a letter to members of Congress, the department said that while investigators had found “mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia,” there was no evidence of a crime.
“We found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution,” the letter stated.
The department also announced that Lois Lerner, who headed the division that processes applications for tax-exempt status at the time, would not face any charges.
A firestorm erupted more than two years ago with the release of an inspector general’s audit that said IRS agents had improperly singled out tea party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status during the 2010 and 2012 elections.
The disclosure set off investigations by the Justice Department and multiple congressional committees.
The House voted to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress last year after she refused to answer questions at two House Oversight Committee hearings. She has since retired.
SOURCE: AP – Eric Tucker