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Franchot would fire ‘everybody’ involved in IRS-like scandal

If any employees working for the Comptroller of Maryland conducted themselves as some Internal Revenue Service employees apparently did, Comptroller Peter Franchot knows exactly how he would handle it.

“If something like this happens at my agency, I would fire any employee within a country mile of it,” Franchot said Tuesday. “When I walk into the Treasury Building, I check my politics at the door.”

U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Tuesday announced there would be a criminal investigation of the IRS’ apparent targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

Good, Franchot said.

“It is incomprehensible to me that just a small number of low level bureaucrats were responsible for this,” he said. “It’s really distressing for me to read about this.”

The comptroller — Maryland’s tax collector — said the IRS ought to be the one government agency in no way entangled in politics. If citizens begin to doubt that, it would be “incredibly unfortunate.”

“I take it personally, because that’s the responsibility I have,” Franchot said. “It’s the one agency that needs to be beyond reproach … We would fire anybody and everybody.”