Philadelphia partner Scott Coffina was quoted in The Daily Caller explaining why Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar violated the Hatch Act during his appearance at an Obama campaign event in Montrose, Colorado.
The Hatch Act bans federal employees from participating in partisan political activities, for example, using their official titles at political events. Salazar was presented as “Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar” in the Montrose County Democratic Party’s online event calendar and went on to stress the importance of re-electing President Barack Obama during his appearance.
Scott explained that “the violation is the use of his title in a political setting” because “you’re not allowed to use your official title or influence to affect the outcome of an election.”
“[T]he presumptive penalty is termination,” he added. “I’m not saying that’s fair, but that’s the law.”
Scott said that even though Salazar may not have been aware that his title was being used in an illegal way, Cabinet-level officials should set a better example.
“People in agencies that make relatively innocent mistakes could get fired, and some do,” he said. “It sort of shows what I think is a lack of attentiveness to this law by the White House when a Cabinet secretary is not subject to the same standards as anyone in her department would be.”
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