The Washington Times is now reporting that an ICE employee was forced to resign today and accepted a five-year ban from working in any federal government position after she admitted to politicking for the Hillary Clinton campaign during the 2016 elections.
Although the spokesperson didn’t name the employee it was confirmed that she had posted more than 100 messages to social media while at work urging people to vote for Clinton. And even went as far as to promote a Clinton campaign rally and urge her coworker to support the Democratic nominee.
Here is more on this via Government Executive:
“An Immigration and Customs Enforcement employee is facing a five-year ban on federal employment after it was found that she repeatedly told her coworkers to vote for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in the run up to the 2016 election.
The discipline was doled out in a settlement agreement between the employee, who went unnamed in the announcement, and the Office of Special Counsel. OSC is responsible for enforcement of the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in certain political activities while on the job.
The employee posted more than 100 social media messages in support of Clinton between March and November 2016 while on the job or in her workplace, OSC said, a Hatch Act violation. She directly discussed Clinton with her coworkers, encouraging them to vote for the Democratic candidate and inviting them to campaign rallies.
The California-based, General Schedule-8 employee who worked as an enforcement removal assistant continued the activity after receiving guidance and annual training on Hatch Act policies. She had “significant” knowledge of the law, OSC said, and continued her prohibited activity even after OSC first interviewed her. She has worked in the federal government since 2000.
“When a federal employee emphatically and repeatedly engages in political activity while on duty or in the workplace, OSC takes that very seriously,” Special Counsel Henry J. Kerner said. “This employee thumbed her nose at the law and engaged in vocal partisan politics both with her colleagues and on social media.”
Kerner advised employees to be mindful of the ICE employee’s mistakes with the upcoming midterm election approaching. The employee agreed to resign as part of her settlement.
The incident is the second time in recent weeks that OSC cracked down on an employee working in the immigration policy realm for having inappropriately voiced support for Clinton. The agency in June recommended for discipline an immigration judge, who in 2016 allegedly expressed support for Clinton during an open deportation hearing.
Carmene “Zsa Zsa” DePaolo said the threat of a 10-year ban on reentry for an undocumented person was “a pretty harsh thing” that Clinton was planning to change. The policy would be altered provided that “the Senate becomes a Democratic body and there’s some hope that they can actually pass immigration legislation,” DePaulo added. She then said the Republicans, by contrast, “aren’t going to do anything” about immigration “if they can help it,” other than to “try to deport everybody,” according to OSC’s account.”
This employee is said to have even continued her blatant violation of the “Hatch Act” even after ethics watchdog approached her about it during the campaign season.
Here is more on the Hatch Act via ThoughtCo:
“The Hatch Act is a federal law that restricts the political activity of executive branch employees of the federal government, District of Columbia government, and some state and local employees whose salaries are paid for partially or entirely with federal money.
The Hatch Act was passed in 1939 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,” according to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.
While the Hatch Act has been described as an “obscure” law, it is taken seriously and enforced. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was ruled to have violated the Hatch Act in 2012 for making “extemporaneous partisan remarks” on behalf of a political candidate. Another Obama administration official, House and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, violated the Hatch Act by granting an interview while he was working in his official capacity to a reporter who asked about his political future.”
The Hatch Act isn’t designed to suppress the freedom of speech of a federal employee. It’s actually designed to restrict them from campaigning for any candidate while she is on the clock being paid by the American Taxpayer. Although the majority of federal employees are allowed to post political messages to their own personal social media accounts they aren’t allowed to post partisan politics during company time or are they allowed to engage in activities which could be seen as using their government position to advocate for or against a particular candidate.
Special Counsel, in this case, continued by saying “This employee thumbed her nose at the law and engaged in vocal partisan politics both with her colleagues and on social media. 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.”
To think all this could have been avoided if this employee just would have just kept her political campaigning to her own time!