AP congressional source: 2 IRS workers put on leave for accepting free items at conference

WASHINGTON – A congressional aide tells The Associated Press that two Internal Revenue Service workers are being placed on administrative leave for accepting $1,100 worth of free food and other items at a 2010 conference.

The IRS is facing mounting criticism for lavish spending on employee conferences, and for improperly targeting conservative political groups. An inspector general’s report on Tuesday said the agency spent nearly $50 million on employee conferences from 2010 through 2012.

The IRS notified congressional staffers about the action Wednesday. An aide said both employees work in the IRS office that oversees implementation of the new health care law. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because the aide was not authorized to discuss personnel matters on the record.