As the president announced his pick to replace the Internal Revenue Service’s acting commissioner for the remainder of the fiscal year, the embattled agency announced in a Thursday statement that a second senior official would be leaving the IRS.
Joseph Grant, the commissioner of the agency’s tax exempt and government entities division, will retire on June 3. Grant oversees the division that gave extra scrutiny to conservative groups seeking nonprofit status. His resignation follows that of acting commissioner Steven Miller, who is stepping down at the request of the Obama administration.
Grant was only elevated to the division commissioner position on May 8
, according to a separate agency press release. He was previously a deputy director.
As division commissioner, he outranked Lois Lerner, the IRS official who sparked the scandal last week by acknowledging that the agency wrongly targeted conservative groups applying for nonprofit status. He wrote the agency’s official response to an inspector general report released earlier this week which broadly condemned the agency’s management.
He acknowledged that the program was a mistake but insisted it wasn’t the result of political bias among agency employees.
“We believe the front-line career employees that made the decisions acted out of a desire for efficiency and not out of any political or partisan viewpoint,” he wrote in the agency’s response to the inspector general’s report.