Lynne Patton, a former Housing and Urban Development (HUD) official, has been penalized for violating the Hatch Act.
Patton, an ally of former President Donald Trump, received the violation after producing a video for the 2020 Republican National Convention.
According to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, the Hatch Act is a federal law passed in 1939 that limits certain political activities of federal employees who work in connection with federally funded programs.
The law’s purposes are to ensure that federal programs are administered in a nonpartisan fashion, to protect federal employees from political coercion in the workplace, and to ensure that federal employees are advanced based on merit and not based on political affiliation. - Office of Special Counsel
The Office of Special Counsel announced the settlement with Patton Tuesday.
According to The Hill, Patton admitted that she violated the Hatch Act with the video she produced. She asked residents of the New York City Housing Authority about their living conditions while serving as the HUD Region II Administrator.
Patton did not tell the participants that the video would be used for political reasons.
According to an official news release, as a HUD employee, Patton was granted permission to temporarily live in and observe living conditions in the New York City Housing Authority in 2019.
During her stay, she recruited participants to be the video in an attempt to show how the standard of living improved under the Trump administration.
“By using information and NYCHA connections available to her solely by virtue of her HUD position, Patton improperly harnessed the authority of her federal position to assist the Trump campaign in violation of the Hatch act,” the release said.
Under the settlement agreement, Patton admitted to the violation, accepted a 48-month debarment from federal employment and she must pay a $1,000 civil fine.
Patton denied the allegations and posted on Facebook, saying she does not regret creating the video.
“I sleep well at night knowing that 500,000+ low-income residents are better off today than they were before President Trump was elected, including receiving the most federal funding than any Administration since 1997,” the post read. “As such, I will never regret creating a Republican National Convention video that highlighted the permanent and continued improvements being made to the New York City Public Housing Authority (NYCHA) thanks to the efforts of President Trump, Secretary Carson and myself.”
🚨 HATCH ACT STATEMENT 🚨
No length of debarment will ever be able to outlast the permanent positive trajectory upon…
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