(NBC News) A former manager at the IRS Cincinnati office at the center of the controversy over the targeting of conservative political organizations seeking tax-exempt status tells NBC News she doesn’t think low-level employees acted on their own in flagging them for further scrutiny.

But she also said that in her time at the IRS she has never known politics or partisan motivations to play any role in the office’s work, and doesn’t think it did in this case.

Bonnie Esrig, a 38-year IRS veteran, worked as an area manager in the Determinations Unit of the IRS’ Exempt Organizations department in 2011 and 2012.

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