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."