Richmond Tea Party targeted by IRS

Posted at 10:34 PM, May 12, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-12 23:32:57-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- The Internal Revenue Service has apologized for admitting it intentionally targeted and investigated Tea Party and other conservative groups around the country.

The Richmond Tea Party was one of those groups.

"What we went through was really quite unbelievable," Richmond Tea Party President Larry Nordvig said.

Nordvig said that beginning in 2009 and lasting until 2011, the Richmond Tea Party fielded what Nordvig believed was an unusually high number of questions by the IRS challenging the validity of its non-partisanship, questioning its application to have tax-free status.

"For us for two years it was like tax day everyday," Nordvig said. "They asked for specific communication and personal information from members that was out of line."

Nordvig said the investigation cost the Richmond Tea Party thousands of dollars and countless working hours.

Lois Lerner, the Director of Tax Exempt Statuses for the IRS, apologized Friday saying she just learned of the practice this year.

However in a report obtained by CBS News set for release later this week, senior level IRS officials learned of the practice in 2011. Yet, then-Commissioner Douglas Shulman, continued to deny the intentional investigations to congress saying in 2012 that "there is absolutely no targeting."

The White House has called for a full-scale investigation, emphasizing the IRS is an independent agency.

As for the Richmond Tea Party, the organization is unclear about what happens next.

"It is nice that they apologized, but what are they going to do about it. If we are not satisfied with their action we may have to take further action on our own," Nordvig said.