IRS News Release  
June 28, 2000

Michael Shaheen Picked for
Senior IRS Post Focusing on
Professional Conduct, Tax Shelter Issues

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service announced Wednesday that Michael E. Shaheen Jr., a long-time Justice Department official, has been selected to be Senior Counselor to IRS Commissioner Charles O. Rossotti. Shaheenís responsibilities will include oversight of the Office of Director of Practice, which regulates the professional conduct of tax professionals practicing before the IRS. A primary focus of Shaheenís work will be strengthening and revising Circular 230, which contains the guidelines for professional conduct.

He will place a special emphasis on revising the professional guidelines to more effectively address problems arising from practitioners who improperly promote aggressive corporate tax shelters.

"Michael Shaheen is well-known for his distinguished legal work and impeccable professional integrity," Rossotti said. "His presence shows the IRS places a high priority on standards of professional conduct, especially on issues involving corporate tax shelters."

Shaheen will report directly to Rossotti in his role as Senior Counselor to the Commissioner for Tax Administration, Practice and Professional Responsibility.

Shaheen joins the IRS after spending a quarter century at the Justice Department. He helped establish the Attorney Generalís Office of Professional Responsibility, an office he led from December 1975 until December 1997. He ran the Justice Department office -- responsible for conducting internal investigations and overseeing matters involving professional conduct -- during the terms of eight attorneys general.

During his career at the Justice Department, Shaheenís work included serving as the Attorney Generalís Special Counsel for Intelligence in 1975 and as a Senior Trial Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Voting and Public Programs Section of the Civil Rights Division from 1973-75.

Prior to joining the Justice Department, Shaheen worked as a lawyer in Memphis, Tenn., and Como, Miss., from 1968-1973. He also was elected as Comoís mayor in 1969.

After leaving the Justice Department, Shaheen served several roles. In 1998, Shaheen was appointed Chief Counsel and Deputy Executive Director of the Commission on the Advancement of Federal Law Enforcement. The congressionally-mandated commission examined the roles of federal law-enforcement agencies.

Later in 1998, Shaheen served as Special Investigative Counsel and Project Coordinator for an independent review of the IRSís Criminal Investigation Division.

"His remarkable background demonstrates he is uniquely qualified for this position," Rossotti said. "Michael Shaheen will give the IRS valuable insight and advice as the agency reorganizes."

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