President Obama announced Wednesday evening that acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller had resigned amidst a burgeoning scandal involving the targeting of certain political groups that had applied for tax-exempt status.
Referring to an inspector general's report detailing efforts to single out groups with words like "tea party" and "patriot" in their names, Obama said, "the misconduct uncovered is inexcusable."
"Everybody believes what happened ... is an outrage," the president said. "The good news is that it's fixable ... I'll do everything in my power to ensure that this never happens again."
"I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but especially in the IRS, given the power that it has and the reach that it has into all of our lives," Obama said.
Miller is a longtime IRS executive, and has held several leadership positions at the agency. He served as deputy commissioner for services and enforcement before being named acting commissioner last October when then-Commissioner Doug Shulman resigned. A specialist in tax-exempt organizations and pensions, Miller joined the IRS in 1993 after stints with Congress’ Joint Taxation Committee and in private practice.
In a letter to agency employees, Miller said he would leave in early June. "This has been an incredibly difficult time for the IRS given the events of the past few days, and there is a strong and immediate need to restore public trust in the nation's tax agency," he wrote.
"While I recognize that much work needs to be done to restore faith in the IRS," Miller added, "I don't want anyone to lose sight of the fact that the IRS is comprised of incredibly dedicated and hard-working public servants."