OSC Seal

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

 OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSEL FILES COMPLAINTS FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST
TWO FEDERAL EMPLOYEES FOR HATCH ACT VIOLATIONS


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
CONTACT: Darshan A. Sheth, 202-254-3617, dsheth@osc.gov

WASHINGTON / April 6, 2009 – The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) recently filed two complaints for disciplinary action against federal employees. OSC’s complaints, filed with the Merit Systems Protection Board, charge the employees with violating the Hatch Act by engaging in prohibited political activity during the 2008 Presidential election. One employee, while on duty, at work and using his official title, disseminated an e-mail that requested political contributions for then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama. The other employee, while at work and on duty, distributed an e-mail that encouraged recipients, including employees she managed, not to support then-Presidential candidate Obama. OSC charged that these employees’ activities violated the Hatch Act’s prohibitions on using official authority or influence to interfere with the result of an election; soliciting, accepting or receiving political contributions; and engaging in political activity while on duty and/or in a room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties.

The Hatch Act, 5 U.S.C. 7321-7326, restricts the political activity of federal executive branch employees. The Act prohibits employees from using their official authority or influence to interfere with the result of an election; soliciting, accepting or receiving political contributions; being candidates for public office in a partisan election; soliciting or discouraging the political activity of persons who have business pending before the employee’s employing office; and engaging in political activity while on duty, in a room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties, while wearing a uniform or official insignia or while using a government vehicle. The penalty for violating the Hatch Act ranges from no less than a 30-day suspension to removal from employment.
 

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OSC is an independent investigative and prosecutorial agency with jurisdiction to enforce the Hatch Act. OSC is authorized to provide advisory opinions on the Hatch Act, and enforces the provisions of the Act by investigating allegations of violations and filing petitions for disciplinary action such as those described above. For more information please visit our web site at www.osc.gov or call 1-800-872-9855

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