OSC Seal

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

OSC Wins Removal Order
In Hatch Act Case

SBA Lawyer Engaged in Partisan Activity
in Government Offices

CONTACT: LOREN SMITH, 202-254-3714, lsmith@osc.gov
      In California, a lawyer for the Small Business Administration has been ordered fired from his job due to extensive on-the-job political activity, including widespread use of email while on government time, to engage in political activity in furtherance of the Green Party.

     The U.S. Office of Special Counsel announced that on August 9th, the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board unanimously upheld an earlier decision by an Administrative Law Judge and ordered the removal from federal service of SBA attorney Jeffrey Eisinger for having engaged in partisan political activity while on duty.

      In a decision handed down on November 17th, 2005, ALJ Joseph Gontram had 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 addition, the ALJ had 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.

     The Board agreed with the ALJ’s reasoning and found (again, unanimously) that the penalty of removal is warranted in this case.

      Special Counsel Scott J. Bloch stated, “Regardless of the specific technology used, it remains the law that government resources must not be used for political activities. OSC is committed to full enforcement of the Hatch Act.”



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.