The US Office of Special Counsel announces that former Housing and Urban Development official Lynne Patton has been fined $1,000 and barred for four years from serving in the federal government for violations of the Hatch Act.
The Hatch Act of 1939 bans federal employees from using their position or authority to promote a partisan political group or political campaign. The federal law also bans use of government property for these purposes. The objective is to remain nonpartisan while working for the people.
Patton has admitted to using her government position to produce footage for the 2020 Republican National Convention, one of many Hatch Act violations at last year’s RNC.
Patton, appointed to oversee the New York and New Jersey region of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, had moved into public housing for a month in 2019 to draw attention to the living conditions in New York City Housing Authority buildings. She leveraged relationships she had cultivated with residents to recruit participants for a video [for the RNC] explaining how their standard of living had improved under the Trump administration… Some of the participants in the video told the New York Times in August that they felt tricked and were never told that their interviews would be used for political purposes.The Washington Post
The Office of Special Counsel launched an investigation into the violation following a complaint from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
Before her role at HUD, Patton was an aide to the Trump family and the vice president of the Eric Trump Foundation. She also planned Eric Trump’s wedding, according to previous reports.
Donald Trump defended Hatch Act violations in the past, saying the rule infringes on free speech.
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