By Jesse Byrnes - 03/18/15 09:06 AM EDT
Ronald Machen, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia appointed by President Obama and set to step down next month, has not acted on a contempt of Congress charge for former IRS official Lois Lerner.
Machen, who announced at the beginning of the week he'd step down April 1 to return to private practice, has not referred Lerner's case to a grand jury. Her contempt citation for not testifying at two hearings has been in Machen's hands since May 2014.
His office prosecuted dozens of federal and local D.C. officials, including securing felony guilty pleas from three former D.C. council members.
But unless he acts within the next two weeks, Machen will leave without taking action in the case of Lerner, who directed the IRS division that handled applications for tax-exempt status.
After Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right at a pair of House Oversight Committee hearings, Machen's office said last year, “We will carefully review the report from the speaker of the House and take whatever action is appropriate.”
The Obama administration has also not publicly released hundreds of documents related to the IRS's targeting of Tea Party groups.
Attorney General Eric HolderEric H. HolderLawyer claims death threats after anti-Black Lives Matter lawsuit Adviser: Obama can’t ‘erase decades’ of racism Airbnb enlists civil rights leaders in discrimination fight MORE remarked on Machen's tenure on Monday, praising his “outstanding results” and “inspiring service.”
“Ron Machen has distinguished himself as a skilled leader, a devoted public servant, and a forceful champion of justice on behalf of the American people,” said Holder, who himself is set to step down pending the Senate's confirmation of Loretta Lynch, who President Obama nominated to replace him.
“Throughout his remarkable tenure, Ron has applied his boundless talent and consummate judgment to protect the safety and security of all Americans in cases involving violent crime, national security threats, and public corruption,” Holder said.
The Department of Justice did not return a request for comment.