The Daily Beast
Ex-Trump official was finally punished under the Weed Act. Who’s next?
Drew Angerer For years, the blatant violations of the Hatch Act were only competed by “Infrastructure Week” as the Trump administration’s toughest running joke. But almost three months after President Donald Trump left office, a former administration official has been formally disciplined to exploit their position for political purposes ̵
1; and more could be on the way. Lynne Patton, a longtime Trump Organization campaigner and former event planner, ran around the Hatch Act on several occasions during her tenure as public relations director for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, but openly denied any chance of being disciplined for violating the law. . “Just retweeted this amazing tweet from both of my Twitter accounts – professionally and personally,” Patton wrote in a 2019 Facebook post after sharing a meme from a Conservative account. “It could be a violation of the Hatch Act. It can not be. Either way, I honestly don’t care. On Tuesday, however, Patton was finally disciplined for violating the Code of Ethics and accepted a solution from the US Office of Special Counsel that included a $ 1,000 fine and a four-year ban on service. in the federal government. Patton was also required to admit that she had deliberately violated the law when she recruited residents of public housing to appear in a video fighting Trump at the Republican National Conference last year. Usually, such violations were hailed by Trump officials as bureaucratic “oopsies.” But with the election of President Joe Biden, the Office of Special Counsel, and the Merit Systems Protection Board, the government body tasked with adjudicating cases of potential Hatch Act violations that sat without a board quorum for all of Trump’s time in office – is beginning to chip in on the large backlog of complaints from the Trump era.Ex-Trump official Lynne Patton violated hatch law with misleading RNC Vids: OSC Office of Special Counsel would not confirm the existence of Pending investigation, but said it was slightly limited by the time of complaints filed with the Merit Systems Protection Board. “In order for OSC to file a complaint with the Merit Systems Protection Board, OSC would have had to file the complaint, while the subject was still a federal employee, “Zachary Kurz, a spokeswoman for the Office of Special Counsel, told The Daily Beast.” Otherwise, the MSPB no longer has jurisdiction on. ” But the sheer number of complaints filed against the board – which now numbers in the thousands – means that some Trumpworld figures are nervous that they could actually have consequences for violating the Hatch Act. ”Let me put it this way: people want that they had never tweeted, “texted someone close to the White House.” Even in an administration marked by a rude violation of ethical laws, Lynne Patton stood out, “Noah Bookbinder, president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), the ethical watchdog organization that originally filed the complaint against Patton. “What made her behavior particularly sinister was that not only did she use her position for political purposes, she misled and exploited residents of public housing for political gain and showed little regard for the people she was supposed to help and the ethical rules, she was to follow. “Patton’s actions were far from an outlier in the Trump administration, with senior officials developing a years-long pattern of violating the Hatch Act, largely with impunity. The Republican National Convention alone presented a tsunami of potential offenses, from former acting Interior Minister Chad Wolf hosting a first-time naturalization ceremony to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s decision to address the RNC from Jerusalem to the location of its closing evening on the White House lawn. In October 2020 alone, CREW found that 16 Trump officials had violated the hatch law 60 times, including first daughter / senior adviser Ivanka Trump, son-in-law / senior adviser Jared Kushner, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, trade honcho Peter Navarro and communications director Alyssa Farah – but the administration’s top official despicable for the law, which forbids the use of a government or state resources for political purposes. “No one outside Beltway really cares – they expect Donald Trump to promote Republican values, and they would expect Barack Obama, when he was in office, that he would do the same for Democrats,” the former chief of staff told The White House, Mark Meadows – a one-time stickler for the Hatch Act – to Politico in August, calling the concerns of ethics experts “a lot of hoopla. Or as the former White House senior adviser, Kellyanne Conway, said shortly before the Special Counsel Office decided she should have been removed from government service because of her repeated violations of the Hatch Act: “Blah, blah, blah … Let me know when the prison sentence starts. Read more on The Daily Beast. Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now! Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper into the stories that matter to you. Learn more.