After two years as director of the Internal Revenue Service Office of Professional Responsibility, Cono R. Namorato returned to Washington-based law firm Caplin & Drysdale as a partner.

Namorato was appointed to the IRS job in December 2003, as part of an effort to strengthen professional standards and build faith in the tax system. The Office of Professional Responsibility investigates allegations of misconduct or negligence brought against tax practitioners. The office also licenses enrolled agents -- tax professionals who meet certain requirements and can represent taxpayers before the IRS.

Just before Namorato joined the agency, Commissioner Mark Everson took several steps to make the office more powerful -- doubling staff and creating a place for the office director on the IRS Enforcement Committee, a panel of senior agency executives who meet to develop strategies on top compliance problems.

Prior to holding the director slot, Namorato represented and advised clients on criminal and civil tax matters at Caplin & Drysdale for 25 years. He began his career as an IRS Special Agent in Brooklyn from 1963 to 1968, and then spent a decade in the Justice Department's Tax Division, rising to the position of deputy assistant attorney general in 1977.The IRS has not yet announced Namorato's replacement.

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