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The government’s chief political watchdog said Thursday that White House adviser Kellyanne Conway has “repeatedly” broken the Hatch Act by mixing politics with official government business, and told President Trump to fire her. Special Counsel Henry J. Kerner, who polices federal employees’ politicking, said Mrs. Conway’s “disregard” for the law is palpable and wouldn’t be tolerated in any regular federal employee. But since Mrs. Conway is a presidential appointee at the White House, it’s up to him to discipline her
“Never has OSC had to issue multiple reports to the president concerning Hatch Act violations by the same individual,” he wrote. “OSC respectfully requests that Mrs. Conway be held to the same standards as all other federal employees and, as such, you find removal from federal service to be the appropriate disciplinary action.”
The Hatch Act The Hatch Act restricts federal employee participation in certain partisan political activities. The political activity restrictions apply during the entire time of an employee’s federal service. Certain rules prohibit both on-duty and off-duty conduct. Partisan political activities are those activities directed at the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group. While most Federal employees are permitted to take an active part in partisan political management and partisan political campaigns, the Hatch Act does prohibit certain participation by all Federal employees. Federal employees may not seek public office in partisan elections, use their official title or authority when engaging in political activity, solicit or receive contributions for partisan political candidates or groups, and engage in political activity while on duty.
Penalties Removal is the only penalty authorized for violation of the Hatch Act, under 5 U.S.C.S. § 1505. The Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) has plenary jurisdiction under § 1505 to determine after a hearing whether the violation warrants the removal of the officer or employee from his office or employment. The Board considers whether removal is appropriate on the basis of seriousness of the violation. The Board takes into account all relevant mitigating and aggravating factors, including: (1) the nature of the offense and the extent of the employee’s participation; (2) the employee’s motive and intent; (3) whether the employee received the advice of counsel regarding the activities at issue; (4) whether the employee ceased the activities at issue; (5) the employee’s past employment record; and (6) the political coloring of the employee’s activiti
White House and White House appointee fight over Kellyanne Conway
A federal special counsel nominated by President Donald Trump is calling for White House counselor Kellyanne Conway to be removed from office for taking overtly political actions while fulfilling her official government duties.