Will Racke, DCNF
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement employee has resigned after admitting she campaigned for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton while on the job, federal attorneys announced Tuesday
The ICE employee, who was not named, copped to posting more than 100 social media messages in support of Clinton while at work or on duty during the 2016 campaign. She also pressured co-workers to vote for Clinton and invited them to one of the candidate’s rallies.
Those activities ran afoul of the Hatch Act, a federal law that bars executive branch employees from using federal resources to promote political candidates, among other prohibitions. In a settlement with the Office of Special Counsel, which investigates Hatch Act violations, the employee agreed to quit and accept a five-year ban on working for the government.
“This employee thumbed her nose at the law and engaged in vocal partisan politics both with her colleagues and on social media,” Special Counsel Henry Kerner said in a statement. “Considering her knowledge of the Hatch Act and continuing disregard for the law, this employee’s resignation and debarment from federal service are proportionate disciplinary actions.”
Federal employees are typically allowed to post political messages on their personal time, but may not do so while on duty. They are also barred from using their official position to campaign for or against a candidate.
The ICE employees’s termination is a relatively serious penalty for Hatch Act violations, but was appropriate because she continued to engage in political activity on government time after being warned not to, according to the Office of Special Counsel.
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