- Argentina beats Dutch in shootout to reach World Cup final
- Tanard Jackson suspended indefinitely by NFL — again
- FAA investigating fireworks drone flights
- Pentagon: We’ll give Obama a drone strike with al-Baghdadi’s name on it
- Marine in Mexican custody to get day in court after 101 days
- Senate OKs San Antonio mayor as housing secretary
- NFL star likely fooled by Marine impostor who accepted first-class plane ticket
- Sen. Ted Cruz tweets Obama directions from fundraisers to border towns
- Israel hits key Hamas targets in Gaza offensive
- Ten-year sentence for New Orleans’ Nagin on graft charges
Tax-enforcer post goes unfilled because of Obama-GOP row
Senate confirmation being stalled
Question of the Day
But in a two-year saga that is pure Washington, the leadership post she was to occupy remains vacant.
So the Justice Department’s tax enforcement team heads into a third-straight federal tax-filing season without a chief chosen by the president and confirmed by the Senate. And the Obama White House is still hunting for a new nominee.
Though far less visible than, say, the chief of the department’s criminal division, the assistant attorney general who heads the tax division commands nearly 400 lawyers, manages an annual budget of more than $100 million, and supervises thousands of court cases against taxpayers large and small who run afoul of tax laws.
Twice nominated by President Obama and twice done in by Senate Republicans who called her unqualified, Miss Smith is serving elsewhere as senior counsel to the assistant attorney general for the civil division, Tony West.
Mr. DiCicco has become one of those rare federal officials who serve so long in an acting capacity more than two years in his case that they bump up against a little-known time limit set by the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998. Because of that law, Mr. DiCicco was no longer acting assistant attorney general for the tax division as of midnight last Thursday. But the law also prevents naming a new acting chief at this point.
“We’re identifying the best possible candidate to fill this role, and we hope to make the nomination soon,” White House spokesman Reid Cherlin said. But such searches are always harder when the job can only be guaranteed for less than two years.
“Deputy Assistant Attorney General DiCicco will continue to lead the division until a confirmed assistant attorney general is in place,” department spokesman Matthew Miller said.
“The day-to-day operations of the tax division are not affected by the change in his title,” Mr. Miller added. But the division will now work closely with Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli’s office on matters that need higher-level attention, such as settlements of major tax cases.
Miss Smith, a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, grew up in Chicago and graduated magna cum laude from Loyola University in 1984. She became a lawyer and served in the mid-1990s as a trial attorney in Justice’s civil division.
She worked on President Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign, spent three years as associate director of policy planning for Mr. Clinton’s Domestic Policy Council and was a lawyer in the White House’s counsel’s office.
After the Clinton administration, she went to the Washington law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and specialized in governmental investigations and securities class-action lawsuits. She moved to Tyco International (US) Inc. as senior litigation counsel and managed a massive lawsuit against the company that was settled for $3 billion.
TWT Video Picks
By Ted Cruz
Banning speech with a constitutional amendment is playing with fire
- GOP: Lerner warned IRS employees to hide information from Congress
- White House plans for bowling alley upgrades abruptly canceled
- GORDON: Russia plays its own game away from the World Cup
- ISTOOK: Flying illegals home would be 99.5 percent cheaper than Obamas plan
- Colorado man offers Obama a toke of marijuana a Rocky Mountain 'high'
- Obama requests $3.7 billion to fight surge of illegals
- Facebook allows 'Kill Kendall Jones' page, but deletes her game hunting photos
- EDITORIAL: Whats Obama hiding at illegal-alien 'refugee' camps?
- Malaysian MP not sorry for tweeting 'long live Hitler' after Germany win
- Islamic militants aim to take Baghdad airport
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq
World Cup's sexiest WAGs
U.S.-Ghana World Cup opener