Scandal-plagued IRS official will give speech, receive award at college commencement

Robby Soave | Reporter

Lois Lerner, the IRS official now at the center of a scandal involving tax agents who selectively targeted conservative groups, is scheduled to receive an award and give the commencement address at Western New England University School of Law.

A spokesperson for the school said the university was aware of the controversy, but would still honor Lerner, who directs the agency’s exempt organizations division.

“Our plans have not changed at this time,” said David Stawasz, a spokesperson for the university, in an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Ms. Werner has apologized for the actions of certain IRS employees. We are aware of the circumstances, but our plans have not changed.”

Lerner will give a speech and receive the Presidential Medallion at the ceremony on May 18. The medallion is awarded each year to one exceptional public servant.

“It is also intended to bring to the students of the College successful role models in a variety of fields to hear firsthand their important lessons in leadership,” according to a university press release.

In its announcement of Lerner’s award, the university praised her for enhancing transparency and promoting good government ethics at the IRS.

Lerner, a registered Democrat, recently admitted that under her watch, IRS officials discriminated against conservative and tea party groups, paying extra attention to their tax filings. It is unclear how much top government officials, including President Obama, knew about these practices.

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