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 U.S. Office of Special Counsel
 1730 M Street, N.W., Suite 201
 Washington, D.C. 20036-4505

U.S. OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSEL SEEKS DISCIPLINARY ACTION IN HATCH ACT CASE AGAINST DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE SENIOR EXECUTIVE 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 9/25/03
CONTACT: TRAVIS Q. ELLIOTT
(202) 653-0003               

    Today, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) announced that it has filed a complaint for disciplinary action against Mr. Andre Hollis, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics, Department of Defense. The complaint charges Mr. Hollis with three violations of the Hatch Act: (1) being a candidate for a partisan political office; (2) soliciting political contributions; and (3) using his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the results of an election. The complaint was filed with the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) yesterday.

     Mr. Hollis, a non-career member of the Senior Executive Service, is a federal employee covered by the Hatch Act. OSCís complaint alleges that Mr. Hollis violated the Act by becoming a candidate for nomination and election to the U.S. House of Representatives as the Representative from the 8th District in Virginia. According to OSCís complaint, Mr. Hollis, acting in concert with the Friends of the 8th Congressional District Committee (Friends of the 8th), sought nomination and election to the House of Representatives.

     OSCís complaint also alleges that Mr. Hollis solicited political contributions in support of his campaign and the Friends of the 8th, a partisan political group. OSCís complaint alleges, among other things, that Mr. Hollis sent an E-mail message to a group of recipients asking them to contact Friends of the 8th about hosting a fundraiser and explaining that the goal was to raise enough money to cause the National Republican Party to take notice and start providing support to his campaign and the Friends of the 8th.

     Finally, according to OSCís complaint, Mr. Hollis used his official title while engaging in political activity. OSCís complaint alleges that Mr. Hollis approved a letter written by a member of the Friends of the 8th that used his title and described his position at the Department of Defense. The letter, an invitation to a meeting about the ďupcoming race to elect a qualified Republican candidate for the Virginia 8th District,Ē had been distributed by the Friends of the 8th.

     In calling for Mr. Hollisí removal from his federal position, OSC charged that, in testimony to OSC investigators, Mr. Hollis falsely claimed that he had no association with Friends of the 8th, while his own E-mail messages proved otherwise.

     The Hatch Act prohibits most federal employees from seeking nomination or election to a partisan political office, from soliciting partisan political contributions, and from using their official authority while engaging in political activity. OSC provides advisory opinions on the Hatch Act and also enforces the provisions of the Act by filing petitions for disciplinary action. Employees who are charged with violations are entitled to a hearing before the MSPB. Under the Act, the presumptive penalty for a violation is removal from federal employment. However, upon a unanimous vote of its members, the MSPB can mitigate the penalty to no less than a 30-day suspension without pay. Employees have the right to appeal the MSPBís decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

     More information about the Hatch Act is available on OSCís website at www.osc.gov.







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