The US Office Of Special Counsel announced that former high-ranking Trump HUD official Lynne Patton was fined and banned from government work for violating the Hatch Act.
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) today announced a settlement agreement reached with Lynne Patton, a former Trump administration political appointee who served as Region II Administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from 2017 to earlier this year. As part of the agreement, Patton admitted to violating the Hatch Act by using her official position to produce a video about housing conditions for the Republican National Convention (RNC).
As a HUD employee, Patton received permission in early 2019 to temporarily live in and observe living conditions in the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). During her approximately one-month stay, Patton met residents and later leveraged one of these relationships to recruit participants to film a video that would air at the RNC. Patton wanted NYCHA residents to appear in the video to explain how their standard of living had 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. Per the terms of the settlement agreement, Ms. Patton admitted that she engaged in conduct which violated the Hatch Act’s use of official authority prohibition and agreed to accept a 48-month debarment from federal employment and pay a $1,000 civil fine.
The corporate media tried to spin the Trump administration’s abuse of public resources for partisan political purposes as the new normal, but there was nothing normal or legal about what Trump and his administration were doing.
Hopefully, this isn’t the last announcement of penalties to former Trump officials for violating the Hatch Act. The way to prevent future administrations from behaving is to enforce the law.
The Trump era of lawlessness has truly ended.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association