U.S. Office of Special Counsel
1730 M Street, N.W., Suite 201
Washington, D.C. 20036-4505
U.S. OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSEL ANNOUNCES MSPB DECISION ORDERING REMOVAL OF A POSTAL EMPLOYEE FOR A
HATCH ACT VIOLATION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 9/10/03
CONTACT: TRAVIS Q. ELLIOTT
Today, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) announced that the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB or Board) granted its petition for disciplinary action and ordered the removal of Glenda Payne Eudy from her employment with the United States Postal Service (USPS) in North Carolina. OSCís petition, filed with the MSPB in March 2003, charged Ms. Eudy with willfully violating the Hatch Actís prohibition against being a candidate for partisan elective office. The order, issued by an MSPB Administrative Law Judge, becomes final on October 13, 2003, unless Ms. Eudy petitions for a full Board review of her case or the Board reopens the case on its own motion (MSPB Docket Number CB-1216-03-0006-T-1 (September 8, 2003)).
Ms. Eudy was employed as a distribution clerk in Gastonia, North Carolina, when, on July 25, 2002, she became a candidate in the Democratic Party primary for a seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives, District 109. On or about that date, she notified her supervisor, the Postmaster of the facility, of her decision to run for office. Thereafter, she requested thirty days leave to campaign.
Between July 25 and September 6, 2002, the local Postmaster warned Ms. Eudy no less than six times that her candidacy violated the Hatch Act. Despite her receipt of increasingly urgent warnings and an ultimate directive to immediately resign her employment with USPS or withdraw from the election, Ms. Eudy remained in the race through September 10, 2002, when she lost her election bid in the primary.
The Boardís Administrative Law Judge concluded that OSC had established that Ms. Eudy was covered by the Hatch Act, that she ran for nomination or election to office, that the office involved was partisan in nature, and thus, she violated the Hatch Act. Moreover, Ms. Eudy admitted to her candidacy for a partisan political office. The Judge further concluded that Ms. Eudyís decision to remain a candidate in the face of the many warnings against her decision was a ďsignificant aggravating factorĒ in support of her removal. Ms. Eudyís favorable work record, the brevity of her campaign, her stated intention not to run for office again, her remorse, and her retirement from USPS after OSC initiated prosecution against her were not factors mitigating the finding that her violation warranted her removal, said the Judge. Nor did Ms. Eudyís retirement moot OSCís Hatch Act prosecution or eliminate the need to determine whether removal was the appropriate penalty. In light of Ms. Eudyís retirement, OSC will seek to have USPS place a copy of the Boardís decision in Ms. Eudyís official personnel file.
The Hatch Act prohibits most federal and postal employees from running for partisan office. Hatch Act penalties for federal and postal employees range from a minimum of a 30-day suspension without pay to removal.
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel is an independent investigative and prosecutorial agency. Among other functions, it investigates and prosecutes complaints alleging violations of the Hatch Act and provides advisory opinions regarding the Actís requirements.