Hatch Act Violations Resolved at Postal Service, IRS

Carolyn Lerner, special counsel, U.S. Office of Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner, special counsel, U.S. Office of Special Counsel Cliff Owen/AP

The Office of Special Counsel won disciplinary actions at the U.S. Postal Service and the Internal Revenue Service, the governmentwide office announced Thursday.

In May, the Merit Systems Protection Board agreed with Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner’s office request that a postal employee be terminated because the employee twice ran as a partisan candidate for a U.S. House seat, soliciting funds in the process. The employee was repeatedly warned that the conduct violated the Hatch Act, OCS said. The board’s decision to remove the employee was the first under the 2012 Hatch Act Modernization Act.

In the IRS, case, a 100-day suspension was imposed on an employee who, when fielding taxpayers’ questions on an IRS customer service line, repeatedly urged taxpayers to reelect President Obama in 2012 by delivering a chant based on the spelling of the employee’s last name. In the settlement, the employee acknowledged using his authority and influence as an IRS customer service representative for a political purpose while at work.

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