By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER
WASHINGTON (AP) - An Internal Revenue Service supervisor in Washington says she was personally involved in scrutinizing some of the earliest applications from tea party groups seeking tax-exempt status, including some requests that languished for more than a year without action.
The official, Holly Paz, until recently was a top deputy in the division that handles applications for tax-exempt status. She has told congressional investigators that she reviewed 20 to 30 applications.
Her assertion contradicts initial claims by the agency that a small group of agents working in an office in Cincinnati were solely responsible for mishandling the applications.
However, Paz has provided no evidence that senior IRS officials ordered agents to target conservative groups or that anyone in the Obama administration outside the IRS was involved.