EWING, N.J. (AP) — The contractor working for New Jersey's largest utility at the site of a town house explosion that killed one resident recently had been fined more than $100,000 by safety regulators for problems at two other sites, but the utility said Wednesday it never had any problems with the construction firm.
By Patrick Temple-West WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A brief congressional hearing ended in shouting and confusion on Wednesday after a former U.S. Internal Revenue Service official refused to answer questions about a 10-month-old controversy involving IRS scrutiny of conservative political groups. Lois Lerner, who was at the center of last year's so-called Tea Party targeting scandal, declined to answer questions from Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Issa, who has relentlessly pursued the tax agency over the controversy for months, dismissed Lerner and gaveled the hearing to a close after just 15 minutes, cutting off remarks by Representative Elijah Cummings, the panel's top Democrat. That was days after she issued a public apology, in answer to a planted question from the audience at a legal conference, in which she said the IRS had done "inappropriate" targeting of political groups with the words "Tea Party" in their names.