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Watchdog: Conference Spending

IRS puts two employees on paid leave for accepting free food

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Politics,Susan Ferrechio,Politics Digest,Conference Spending,IRS

The Internal Revenue Service has put two employees on administrative leave for inappropriately receiving free food while at an IRS conference in Anaheim, Calif., in 2010.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, which is investigating IRS conferences, reported that the two employees received the free food while holding a private party in a suite at the Anaheim hotel. That conference, held for more than 2,000 IRS employees, cost $4.1 million.

The free food, according to the IRS, “violated government ethical standards.”

New acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel said he initiated the “removal” of the employees pending further investigation.

According to congressional sources, the two men are Frederick Schindler and Donald Toda. Schindler works for the department of the IRS responsible for implementing President Obama's health care reforms. Toda works for the agency’s Small Business and Self Employed division.

The IRS has been under fire in recent weeks over two damning reports. One showed that the IRS was inappropriately targeting conservative groups seeking federal tax exemption. The other revealed that the IRS had spent $49 million on employee conferences between 2010 and 2012.

Werfel has promised to rid the agency of mismanagement and waste.

“The agency stands ready to confront any problems that occur, hold accountable anyone who acted inappropriately and permanently fix these problems so that such missteps do not occur again,” Werfel said in a statement Wednesday.

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