Tags: IRS Scandal | irs | tech | legally | blind | lois lerner | hard

Affidavit: First IRS Tech to Inspect Lois Lerner Hard Drive Was Blind

By    |   Monday, 02 Mar 2015 07:43 PM

The first IRS technician to inspect the computer hard drive of the former official at the center of a targeting scandal was legally blind, according to an affidavit filed last summer.

The admission from Stephen Manning, deputy chief information officer for strategy and modernization at the Internal Revenue Service, came in a document filed July 18, 2014, in a lawsuit filed by True the Vote against the IRS, according to PJ Media.

The suit alleges former IRS official Lois Lerner led an effort to target the conservative group and tea party groups by refusing to grant them tax-exempt status.

"According to the [information technology] Specialist, prior to joining the Internal Revenue Service, from 2004 to 2005, formal Microsoft training was completed through Lions World Services for the Blind, a certified Microsoft training and testing center," Manning stated in the affidavit.

The IRS technician, who was hired in 2007 and has been promoted three times, began working on Lerner’s hard drive on June 13, 2011, according to the affidavit.

The IRS has had a partnership with Lions World Services for the Blind — which now goes by the name World Services for the Blind — since 1967, according to the agency's jobs website.

"The IRS and LWSB provide training programs for various entry level positions. From Collection Representative positions to Computer Programmers. This relationship has resulted in over 1000 persons with disabilities being employed by the IRS. In 2003 forty-six outstanding candidates were trained by Lions World for placement in IRS positions," the website states.

In the Manning affidavit, after an unsuccessful try to preserve or recover data on Lerner’s hard drive, it was removed and her laptop was replaced with a new one.

The computer was the sent back to Lerner and the hard drive was sent to a forensics lab, the document said; when the lab couldn't find any information on the hard drive, it was sent back to the user and network branch. It was then wiped clean with a magnet, Manning stated.

IRS officials initially claimed Lerner’s hard drive was irreparably damaged before it was destroyed in 2011.

But last year, investigators with the House Ways and Means Committee interviewed IRS technical experts who said the hard drive was merely scratched and not irreparable, The Hill has reported.

"The Committee was told no data was recoverable and the physical drive was recycled and potentially shredded," then-Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Dave Camp said just days after Manning’s July 18 affidavit was filed, according to the Daily Caller.

"To now learn that the hard drive was only scratched, yet the IRS refused to utilize outside experts to recover the data, raises more questions about potential criminal wrong doing at the IRS."

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The first IRS technician to inspect the computer hard drive of the former official at the center of a targeting scandal was legally blind, according to an affidavit filed last summer.
irs, tech, legally, blind, lois lerner, hard, drive, computer, tea party, targeting, scandal, lawsuit
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2015-43-02
Monday, 02 Mar 2015 07:43 PM
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