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


CONTACT: CATHY DEEDS, 202-254-3607, cdeeds@osc.gov
      In California, a lawyer for the Small Business Administration (SBA) has been ordered to be fired from his job due to extensive use of government resources, including widespread use of email while on government time, to engage in political activity in furtherance of his position with a political party.

      The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) announced that on November 17, an administrative law judge (ALJ) of the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (Board) granted OSC’s petition for disciplinary action and ordered the removal from federal service of SBA attorney Jeffrey Eisinger for having engaged in partisan political activity while on duty.

      In a 22-page initial decision, ALJ Joseph Gontram found, among other violations, that over a three-year period Eisinger, an elected official of the California Green Party, received, read, drafted or sent more than 100 emails through his government computer that were directed toward the success of the Green Party. The extensive emails concerned such politically charged issues as party fundraising opportunities, outreach and recruitment plans, internal drafts of various party platforms, and the planning of a state-wide Green Party political convention. The ALJ concluded that “Eisinger’s political activities at work and in his government office were continual and significant.”

      In his removal decision, the ALJ found that throughout his illegal activities, Eisinger knew that the Hatch Act prohibited federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity while at work. He also found that Eisinger had assured his supervisor – who was aware of his employee’s off-duty political activism – that he would not entangle the agency in any ethical or Hatch Act issues, an assurance that proved to be false. Eisinger had earlier been suspended by SBA for misuse of the government email system.

      Judge Gontram’s order becomes final on December 22, 2005, unless Eisinger petitions the full Board to review his case or unless the Board reopens the case on its own motion (MSPB Docket Number CB-1216-05-0011-T-1, November 17, 2005).

      Special Counsel Scott J. Bloch stated, “Technology has wrought many changes in recent years, from horse-drawn carriages to whistle-stop campaigning to email to internet fundraising. However, it remains the law that government resources must not be used for political activities. Whether it’s old-school low-tech or new-school hi-tech, the Hatch Act remains an important principle our office is dedicated to enforcing.”


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 Act’s requirements. For more information about OSC, please visit our web site at www.osc.gov or call 1-800-872-1855.