OSC Seal

U.S. Office of Special Counsel

1730 M Street, N.W., Suite 300

Washington, D.C. 20036-4505

U.S. OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSEL SEEKS DISCIPLINARY ACTION IN 
HATCH ACT CASE


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  10/30/00
CONTACT: JANE MCFARLAND
(202) 653-7984

    Today, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) announced that it filed a petition for disciplinary action against Mr. Everett O’Donnell, who is employed as the Director of Maintenance for the Warwick Housing Authority in Rhode Island and who is an active candidate for Warwick City Council as Ward Four representative. OSC’s petition, filed with the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board on Friday, October 27, 2000, charges Mr. O’Donnell with violating the Hatch Act’s prohibition on being a candidate for elective office in a partisan election.

    As the Director of Maintenance of the Warwick Housing Authority, Mr. O’Donnell has job duties connected to a program that is financed in whole or in part by the federal government and, as a result, he is covered by the federal Hatch Act. Following a telephone call to Mr. O’Donnell, officials of the OSC warned him by letter dated October 19, 2000, that his candidacy violated the Act and that he must resign his job or withdraw his candidacy in order to avoid prosecution. Nevertheless, according to OSC’s petition, Mr. O’Donnell continues to be employed as Director of Maintenance for the Housing Authority and continues to actively campaign as a Republican candidate for Warwick City Council, Ward Four. 

    The Hatch Act strictly prohibits state and local employees, who have job duties in connection with federally funded programs from running for partisan office. The penalty for a proven violation of the Act by a state or local employee is that the employee must be removed from his/her position by the state or local agency or the state will forfeit federal funds it receives in an amount equal to two years’ pay of the employee. The employee may also not be reappointed to a position in that state for the following 18 months. 

    The U.S. Office of Special Counsel is an independent investigative and prosecutorial agency. Among other things, it investigates and prosecutes complaints alleging violations of the Hatch Act, and provides advisory opinions on the Act’s requirements. 

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