Shocker: Hatch Act Is Enforced Against Trump Political Hack
There were so many allegations during the Trump administration of his political appointees violating the Hatch Act it was hard to keep track of them all. While Donald Trump was in the White House the law, which bars officials from using their public office to benefit a political candidate, was never enforced.
That ended Tuesday when the Office of Special Counsel announced that former Housing and Urban Development official Lynne Patton admitted she used her government position as HUD’s Region 2 administrator to produce a video praising Trump that was shown at the Republican National Convention. The OSC said that it had reached a settlement agreement with Patton in which she admitted the wrongdoing, agreed to pay a $1,000 civil fine and accepted a 48-month ban from employment by the federal government.
In 2019 the former wedding planner received permission to move into a New York City public housing building to temporarily live in and observe first-hand the living conditions of the people she was supposed to serve. Instead, however, during her one-month stay she recruited a number of her fellow tenants to appear in a two-and-a-half minute video that was highly critical of Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio while praising Trump for improving their standard of living. A number of tenants who appeared in the video said they were tricked into participating and were not Trump supporters.
Patton was found to have “improperly harnessed the authority of her federal position to assist the Trump campaign.” While in her HUD position Patton was reprimanded multiple times for Hatch Act violations, including prominently displaying a Trump campaign hat in her office.
NEW: ex-Trump official Lynne Patton fined $1000 and barred from federal employment for 48 months for violating the Hatch Act by using her HUD role to create a video for the 2020 RNC. pic.twitter.com/XsEKO9t5oh
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) April 6, 2021