She didn't exactly plead the fifth she defended her conduct..
“I am very proud of the work that I have done,” she said at a the hearing before she refused to answer questions, citing her constitutional protection against self-incrimination. “I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws.”....and verified a document all of which, according to the GOP members of the committee made her ineligible for pleading the fifth.
According to Congressman Levin, Lerner retired before she could be fired:
But Rep. Sander Levin, ranking Democrat on the HouseWays and Means Committee, said an Accountability Review Board set up to investigate the people at the agency involved with the scandal, completed their review and were set to recommend her ouster. The review board, though, found no evidence of political bias, he said.Now that Ms. Learner has all the extra time on her hands the House oversight committee should invite her back for a little talk to explain herself, the entire operation-now that so much more is known perhaps she can fill in a few holes, it would also be interesting to know why she used her personal email to conduct agency business (If Lerner used her private email account to execute the attack on teaparty groups trying to gain 501C3 status as the evidence suggests those emails would not be archived by the federal government a great way to cover her tracks.)
Finally after all that is done, if her actions were a violation of government policy her government pension should be revoked and criminal charges should be made (the word "if" is being used to give her the benefit of the doubt).