Senior HUD Official Violates Hatch Act, Dodges Punishment

A senior official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development has been sent a letter of warning by the Special Counsel Office after the violation of the Hatch Act by the use of promoting political statements at her government job, Politico reports.

Nonetheless, the Office of the Special Counsel made a decision not to pursue disciplinary action relating to Lynn Patton’s violations.

According to the Special Counsel office, Patton violated the Hatch Act a total of two times by using her official government account on Twitter – promoting political statements and showing off a red “USA” hat that the Trump campaign sells.

Still, Patton has been cleared of two other alleged violations involving a tweet defending HUD Secretary Ben Carson and her appearance at an oversight hearing featuring Michael Cohen. 

“Although OSC concluded that you violated the Hatch Act by unwittingly displaying a campaign hat in your office and ‘liking’ partisan political tweets on your official Twitter account, we have decided not to pursue disciplinary action and are closing our files without further action,” Erica Hamrick, deputy chief of the OSC’s Hatch Act Unit, wrote the a letter to Patton Wednesday, according to Politico. 

Patton is the department’s regional administrator for New York and New Jersey. 

She has ties to the Trump family dating back to before her appointment, having served as the vice president of the Eric Trump Foundation. 

Patton thanked the Office of Special Counsel in an emailed statement to Politico, claiming the office “determined that I did not violate the Hatch Act” based on the two alleged incidents she was cleared of.

She called the incidents she was found to be in violation for “minor infractions.” 

“I look forward to continuing to focus on the residents of New York and New Jersey, whose well-being I care about the most,” she added. 

The Hill reached out to a HUD spokesperson, but they did not immediately respond to the request for comment.

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