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IRS scandal started by 'rogues' in Ohio office, report says

The Internal Revenue Service building in Washington D.C. (Mark Wilson, Getty Images)
The Internal Revenue Service building in Washington D.C. (Mark Wilson, Getty Images)
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Updated: 5/15/2013 6:19 pm
WASHINGTON -- Two "rogue" workers in a southern Ohio government office were the ones principally responsible for the IRS's overly aggressive handling of conservative groups' tax applications over the last two years, the agency's chief reportedly said Wednesday.

A congressional source told CNN on Wednesday that acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller pinpointed employees in the agency's Cincinnati office as the ones primarily responsible for the scandal. However, it wasn't divulged exactly how or why the "rogue" employees perpetrated the ordeal.

The IRS has been under heavy fire for targeting conservative-leaning groups applying for tax-exempt status, some as far back as 2010.  During the application process, IRS employees singled out conservative groups, like the Tea Party, by looking for particular wording or themes listed on the applications.

Flagged organizations had their applications delayed for up to 27 months, and were required to provide further documentation -- some of which, Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) said, was "overreaching and impossible to comply with."

Meanwhile, multiple liberal groups seeking the exact same tax-exempt status for their organizations -- and involved in the same kinds of activities as their conservative counterparts -- were seemingly green-lit without resistance and some were approved in as little as nine months, according to a report by USA Today.

An investigation into the matter is ongoing, officials said.

On Monday, President Obama called the agency's targeting practice "outrageous." Wednesday, White House spokesperson Jay Carney was asked if Obama had lost confidence in acting commissioner Miller -- but replied that he wouldn't discuss personnel matters.

However, Carney did say that Obama wants the public to understand and believe that the IRS applies tax laws in a neutral and fair way to all U.S. citizens.

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