- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 7, 2001

ASSOCIATED PRESS
A recently convicted felon is receiving an $80,000 annual salary from the Internal Revenue Service, despite doing no work for the agency for the past three years.
A senior Republican senator says the situation indicates more widespread problems in the tax-collection agency.
"It is my view that some managers in the IRS are of the belief that money doesn't matter," said Iowa Sen. Charles E. Grassley, senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee.
The IRS employee, Kenneth Dossey of Glasgow, Ky., traces his legal difficulties to a disability suit he brought against the agency — he is legally blind — and contends the government subsequently sought to ruin him.
"If you gave me the same amount of man-hours and money, I guarantee you I could find a crime to charge you with, too," he said Thursday in a telephone interview.
Dossey, 46, was convicted Feb. 28 in U.S. District Court in Kentucky of wiretapping and mail fraud. On May 24, he was sentenced to six months' home detention, two years' probation and ordered to pay restitution to an insurance company for losses that jurors found to be false. He is appealing the convictions.
Before he was charged with these crimes, Dossey was operating a convenience store in Hiseville, Ky., while simultaneously on leave from the IRS and drawing his salary, according to documents provided by Mr. Grassley.
"These IRS managers who decided not to take any action against Mr. Dossey appear to take the view that the taxpayers' money comes a distant second to other priorities at the IRS," Mr. Grassley said in a letter dated Tuesday to Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill.
The IRS and Treasury Department declined to comment, citing employee-privacy laws.
Dossey acknowledged the agency could have cut off his checks after his indictment and said he believes his disability lawsuit deterred IRS officials from doing so.
"I'm the victim, not the criminal," Dossey said. "I never knew things were going to come to this pass."
Dossey sued the agency in 1996, contending it wouldn't provide the equipment his disability requires to do the assigned job.
Under a 1998 settlement, he was paid $265,000, promoted and granted restored vacation and sick leave. He was supposed to begin a new job then in information systems at IRS headquarters in Washington, but was placed on a 60- to 90-day leave so that the equipment he needed could be put in place.
While on leave, Dossey began operating the D&L; One Stop in Hiseville, Ky., partly to be near his aging mother. He said he has been waiting ever since for the IRS to call him back to work.
A few months after Dossey was charged, the IRS began steps to suspend him from duty and pay indefinitely, possibly leading to termination pending the outcome of the criminal charges. But the IRS has taken no action since then.

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