A senior Internal Revenue Service official who until recently served as an adviser to embattled official Lois Lerner is leaving the agency, according to an IRS agent with knowledge of the situation. Sharon Light has “accepted a position with the American Cancer Society, leaving a critical vacancy in the Senior Technical Adviser team for the Director of Exempt Organizations,” Lerner’s replacement, Kenneth Corbin, wrote this morning in an internal e-mail to Exempt Organization employees.
Light will be replaced by Cindy Thomas, a 35-year IRS veteran who ran the Exempt Organizations office in Cincinnati throughout the 2-year period that conservative groups were targeted. “Cindy brings a strong background in EO Determinations and the history of the organization,” Corbin told employees. “And, since she is located in Cincinnati, she will provide a voice for the process and challenges faced in determinations work.” Thomas’s promotion will not be without controversy, given that, in November of last year, she signed off on the illegal release to the left-leaning ProPublica, of nine pending, confidential applications for tax exemption filed by conservative groups. One of those organizations, the Colorad-based Citizens Awareness Project, yesterday filed a federal lawsuit against the IRS over the release of its application.