Ohio law firms lined up to defend IRS employees


CINCINNATI — The federal government has hired two major Cincinnati law firms to defend Internal Revenue Service employees in one of the lawsuits arising from targeting of conservative groups.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the firms of Taft Stettinius & Hollister and Squire Sanders have been retained at taxpayer expense for up to $200 an hour plus costs to represent 19 employees being sued in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati.

The Justice Department says it is longstanding policy to provide representation for federal employees being sued for conduct performed as part of their jobs.

The suit initiated by NorCal Tea Party Patriots has been joined by other conservative groups, saying they were subjected to intrusive scrutiny when seeking tax-exempt status. The Justice Department is seeking the suit’s dismissal.