For the first time Thursday, a Cincinnati IRS worker testified in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Liz Hofacre was joined by retired D.C. IRS tax specialist Carter Hull. Both were praised by legislators for their willingness to testify. Chairman Darrell Issa chose the two to testify because of the timeframe they handled tea party cases.
Liz Hofacre, a Cincinnati IRS worker of 14 years, had her work overseen by Hull in 2010.
She testified she was unable to close any tea party cases because she was waiting on guidance from Hull.
Hull, an IRS employee for 48 years, testified he was waiting on direction from Chief Counsel in Washington, D.C. He confirmed he never intentionally stalled or delayed his work with Hofacre on the tea party cases and that no one instructed him to do so either.
Both agreed the process for handling tea party cases was unusual.
"Did it ever dawn on you that this was kind of strange?" Representative Scott DesJarlais questioned.
"I did," Hofacre responded. "The fact that I pursued another job is evidence of that."
"Oftentimes there was more than one reviewer but multi-tiered is unusual," Hull testified.
While out of the norm, both reaffirmed the handling of the cases was not politically motivated.
Politics did make a showing during the hearing itself, however, as members of both parties took stabs across the aisle.
"I just think it's disgraceful that we're squandering this opportunity to get to the bottom of this because of partisan bickering," representative Stephen Lynch said.
During the hearing Hofacre reaffirmed her outrage at the initial suggestion two rogue Cincinnati agents were to blame.
"I was deeply offended," Hofacre recalled. "It impugned my reputation of other agents and all federal employees."
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