The Office of Special Counsel has said that the outcomes of two recent cases serve “as an important reminder that federal employees must be mindful of the Hatch Act’s prohibitions, especially given the upcoming midterm elections.”
In one case, an MSPB hearing officer ordered a postal employee fired on charges brought by the OSC of running in two partisan elections. “OSC provided the employee several opportunities to come into compliance with the law, but she failed to do so and won one of her elections while remaining a USPS employee,” it said.
In the other case, OSC reached a settlement with an ICE employee who agreed to resign and not return to federal service for five years. It said the employee admitted to posting social media messages in support of then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton while on duty or in the workplace and while at work telling coworkers to vote for her and inviting them to attend a campaign rally.
“The punitive settlement terms considered that the employee had significant Hatch Act knowledge and received guidance from ICE via email and annual ethics training, but failed to change her behavior, even after OSC interviewed her,” it said.