CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -
The claim that the ongoing IRS scandal is limited to low level employees is falling apart.
The six Cincinnati workers we have identified, who sent scrutinizing
letters to conservative groups with words including "patriot, liberty,
tea party or 9-12" in their names are Mitchel Steele, Carly Young,
Joseph Herr, Stephen Seok, Liz Hofacre and a woman identified only as
But was all of this done at the hands of a small group of Cincinnati
employees working together? During Friday's congressional hearing, that
appeared to be the theme. Now, that explanation just became less
Thanks to two FOX19 sources connected to the IRS, we now understand the chain of command for these workers.
Mitchel Steele, Carly Young, Joseph Herr and Liz Hofacre are IRS agents. Stephen Seok is a supervisor IRS agent.
But according to the IRS employee directory that FOX19 has obtained
exclusively, each of these agents has a different manager and then above
them a different territory manager.
That is important because while it may sound reasonable to the
average person that these workers began targeting groups on their own,
the IRS structure is designed to prevent that.
Here is how that works.
When an application for tax exempt status comes into the IRS, agents
have 270 days to work through that application. If the application is
not processed within those 270 days it automatically triggers flags in
the system. When that happens, individual agents are required to input a
status update on that individual case once a month, every month until
the case is resolved.
Keep in mind, at least 300 groups were targeted out of Cincinnati
alone. Those applications spent anywhere from 18 months to nearly 3
years in the system and some still don't have their non-profit status.
300 groups multiplied by at least 18 months for each group, means
thousands of red flags would have been generated in the system.
So who in the chain of command would have received all these flags?
The answer, according to the IRS directory, one woman in Cincinnati,
Cindy Thomas, the Program Manager of the Tax Exempt Division. Because
all six of our IRS workers have different individual and territory
managers, Cindy Thomas is one manager they all have common. (Continues)