Barack Obama, Election 2012, Hatch Act, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Office of Special Counsel
An IRS employee has been suspended for illegally campaigning for President Obama on the IRS’ customer service help line.
The employee agreed to a 100-day suspension without pay after the U.S. Office of Special Counsel lodged a complaint against him for violating the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in partisan election activity.
According to an OSC press release announcing the settlement, when fielding taxpayers’ questions on an IRS customer service help line, the employee repeatedly urged taxpayers to reelect President Obama in 2012 by delivering a chant based on the spelling of the employee’s last name….’
In another instance, an IRS employee was suspended for 14 days after promoting her “partisan” political views during the 2012 presidential campaign to a taxpayer. The employee failed to heed an earlier warning from her supervisor about engaging in political activity while on duty and in the workplace.
…OSC received a recorded conversation in which the employee told a taxpayer she was “for” the Democrats because “Republicans already [sic] trying to cap my pension and . . . they’re going to take women back 40 years.” She continued to explain that her mom always said, “‘If you vote for a Republican, the rich are going to get richer and the poor are going to get poorer.’ And I went, ‘You’re right.’ I found that out.” The employee’s supervisor had advised her about the Hatch Act’s restrictions just weeks before the conversation. The employee told the taxpayer, “I’m not supposed to voice my opinion, so you didn’t hear me saying that.” Following OSC’s investigation, the employee entered into a settlement agreement with OSC in April 2014. In the agreement, she admitted to violating the Hatch Act’s restrictions against engaging in political activity while on duty and in the workplace and using her official authority or influence to affect the result of an election.…