EXCLUSIVE: Former IRS manager talks about scandal

Bonnie Esrig
Bonnie Esrig

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Bonnie Esrig worked for the IRS for 38 years, many of which were spent in the Cincinnati field office.

She retired in January 2013 as an Area Manager in Exempt Organizations Determinations.

Esrig says she wasn't directly involved in the tax exempt cases involving hundreds of conservative groups, and that those questionnaires were composed by the individual agent working the case.

"At the bottom you have the actual agents who are doing the work. They report to a front line manager, those are called the group managers," said Esrig. "Group managers report to an area manager which is what I was. Then I reported to another senior manager and that was the EO Determinations Program Manager. She reported to Washington D.C. to the Director of Ruling and Agreements, which was Holly Paz."

Holly Paz is one of five IRS employees who will be interviewed by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform this week.

FOX19's Cory Stark was the only local TV reporter to talk with Esrig.

Cory Stark: What has been your reaction to all this?

Esrig: Well I did know several of the individuals, and my thought is that no matter what the facts may or may have not been. It's been grossly overblown into something with much more of a malice or Ill will behind it and I don't believe that was the case.

Cory Stark: Do you think somebody in Washington told these agents to highly scrutinize these conservatives groups?

Esrig: I absolutely don't believe anybody in Washington told the employees to scrutinize those cases, absolutely not.

Cory Stark: Who ultimately in your eyes is responsible for this?

Esrig: I'd rather not say.

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