Even the Powerful Can Be Victims of Abuse

By National Center for Public Policy Research | July 7, 2008 | 8:21pm EDT

(Editor's Note: The following is the 46th of 100 stories regarding government regulation from the book Shattered Dreams, written by the National Center for Public Policy Research. CNSNews.com will publish an additional story each day.)

"IRS management does what it wants, to whom it wants, when it wants, how it wants with almost complete immunity," retired Internal Revenue Service official Tommy Henderson told the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

One of Henderson's agents attempted to frame former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker, former U.S. Representative James H. Quillen and Tennessee prosecutor David Crockett on money-laundering and bribery charges, apparently in an attempt to promote his own career. When Henderson attempted to correct the abuse, it was Henderson, not the agent, who lost his job.

"What I had uncovered was an attempt to create an unfounded criminal investigation on two national political figures for no reason other than to redeem this agent's own career and ingratiate himself with his supervisors," Henderson testified. Henderson attempted to reign in the rogue agent by taking away his gun and his credentials, but he failed. The agent, Henderson told the committee, had a friend in IRS upper management.

In fact, Henderson was told that management had lost confidence in him. He believed that if he did not resign, he would be fired. Henderson resigned. "I had violated an unwritten law. I had exposed the illegal actions of another agent," Henderson testified.

Eventually, the agent was fired - but not for illegal actions within in the IRS. He was arrested on cocaine charges and subsequently fired because the arrest was public knowledge.

Sources: Testimony of Tommy Henderson to the Senate Finance Committee, the Washington Post

Copyright 2003, National Center for Public Policy Research

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