NTEU: Treasury IG looking into threatening "jokes"

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The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is reportedly investigating more than 70 jokes or inappropriate statements that IRS agents felt were threatening since the Feb. 18 attack on an IRS building.

Colleen Kelley, national president of the National Treasury Employees Union, told reporters on Tuesday that dozens of taxpayers have made jokes or comments about attacking the IRS since disgruntled taxpayer Joe Stack flew an airplane into the IRS’ Austin office. Some have cracked wise about wanting to take flying lessons while talking to the IRS about their audit, Kelley said, but TIGTA isn’t laughing.

IRS employees “didn’t think it was a joke,” Kelley said. “I cannot imagine in any scenario, following the Austin attack, where that’s an appropriate comment to make. TIGTA has assured us that each one of those instances are being thoroughly investigated.”

Federal Times reporter Gregg Carlstrom is working on a story about the growing concern among federal employees about anti-government extremists, and the violence that has recently erupted in places like Austin and at the Pentagon. What are your thoughts? What do you think the government should do to make the workplace safer for feds? E-mail him at gcarlstrom@federaltimes.com.

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