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The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) today announced a settlement agreement reached with a former civilian Navy employee in Hawaii who admitted to numerous Hatch Act violations. The employee retired after OSC filed a complaint for disciplinary action with the Merit Systems Protection Board.
The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from knowingly soliciting, accepting, or receiving political contributions. While serving as Chairman of the Honolulu County Republican Party (HCRP), the employee created and used HCRP social media pages to solicit political contributions. He also sent dozens of emails using an online marketing platform to solicit contributions for the Hawaii Republican Party (HRP), HCRP, and candidates for partisan political office.
An investigation conducted by OSC found that the employee also had over 1,000 HRP- and HRCP-related documents on his Navy desktop computer. While in his Navy workplace, the employee used that computer to download, draft, edit, and publish partisan political materials, including updating the HCRP Facebook page. The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activity while on duty or in a federal room or office building.
In a settlement agreement, the employee agreed to pay a civil fine of $1,000, and to accept a three-year debarment from federal employment.