Earlier, I wrote about how, thanks to civil-service regulations, it is hard to fire government employees for misconduct, despite often-ignored Constitutional provisions, such as the Appointments Clause, that the Founding Fathers put into the Constitution to enable department heads to fire and replace federal “officers.” As a result, I was concerned that IRS managers and employees would continue to escape punishment for making burdensome, intrusive, and unconstitutional demands for irrelevant information from non-profit groups that were critical of the government, such as the Tea Party, and which taught about the Constitution. These intrusive investigations violated the First Amendment.
It turns out that they could, after a protracted and costly process, be fired for the types of misconduct they committed — and that their termination for such misconduct may technically be mandated, not merely permitted, by a 1998 law. A lawyer discusses this at Powerline. Misconduct, not incompetence, will likely need to be shown. As noted earlier, few federal employees with ‘‘poor’’ ratings ever get fired, and civil-service employees ‘‘are almost impossible to fire’’ for incompetence, to quote the Houston and San Francisco Chronicle newspapers.