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 U.S. Office of Special Counsel
 1730 M Street, N.W., Suite 218
 Washington, D.C. 20036-4505

U.S. OFFICE OF Special Counsel seeks Disciplinary Action against Federal Employee for Hatch Act Violation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 3/21/05                                                                                     
CONTACT:  CATHY DEEDS, 202-254-3600

     WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) has filed a complaint for disciplinary action against Jeffrey Eisinger, a Small Business Administration (SBA) employee in Fresno, California for violation of the Hatch Act. Mr. Eisinger, an SBA attorney and an official of the Fresno County (CA) Green Party, is charged with engaging in political activity on behalf of the Green Party while on duty in his government office building, in violation of the Hatch Act. OSC filed the complaint with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) on January 13, 2005.

     The OSC complaint alleges that from approximately the fall of 2001 to September 2004, Eisinger used his government office equipment to receive and send more than 100 e-mails, draft documents, and have telephone conversations in support of the Green Party and its candidates. It further alleges that Eisinger knew that the Hatch Act prohibited federal employees from engaging in political activity while on duty or in a government building. The complaint alleges that at the time of his prohibited activities, Eisinger was a state committee member and an elected county council member of the California Green Party.

     Special Counsel Scott Bloch said, “Our federal system depends upon the public knowing that partisanship on the job is not permitted. No employee may use his or her federal office as a staging ground for partisan political activity.”

     The Hatch Act prohibits federal executive branch employees from engaging in political activity while on duty, in any room or building used for official duties by an individual employed or holding office in the U.S. government, while wearing a uniform or official insignia identifying the office or position of the employee, or using any vehicle owned or leased by the government. Political activity has been defined as activity directed toward the success or failure of a political party, candidate for a partisan political office or partisan political group.

     The 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 MSPB’s decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.



The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is an independent investigative and prosecutorial agency and operates as a secure channel for disclosures of whistleblower complaints and abuse of authority. Its primary mission is to safeguard the merit system in Federal employment by protecting Federal employees and applicants from prohibited personnel practices, especially retaliation for whistleblowing. OSC also has jurisdiction over the Hatch Act and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). For more information please visit our web site at www.osc.gov or call 1-800-872-9855.