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The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) has filed a Hatch Act complaint with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) against a federal employee who used her position to provide a guided tour of a federal facility to a candidate seeking a partisan political office. The purpose of the tour, which was not open to the general public, was to provide the candidate with information to be used for the campaign. For example, photographs taken during the tour were posted to the campaign's social media pages.
In its complaint, OSC deemed the employee's actions to be a flagrant Hatch Act violation because she knew that her agency had denied the candidate's tour requests and, just three days before she gave the tour, she received a reminder about how such a tour could violate the Hatch Act. The complaint details how, despite having this information, the employee unilaterally used her official authority to further a political campaign.