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Brien To Announce Hatch Act Complaint Against Casey At Conference Today

Federal law would prohibit Stephen Casey from running as a partisan candidate if federal funding directly affected his firefighter's job.


This morning at 11:30 a.m. at the Pastore Federal Building in Providence, outgoing Rep. Jon Brien (D-Dist. 50), loser of the Sept. 11 primary, will talk about his claim that the victor, firefighter Stephen Casey, has violated the Federal Hatch Act.
The Hatch Act limits political activities of federal employees on and off duty. According to Ann Hanlon, spokesperson for the US Office of Special Counsel, which investigates complaints about violations of the law, Casey's campaign, which won against Brien by a 52-vote majority, might have violated the Hatch Act if his job as a firefighter directly benefited from federal funding.
Hanlon said if his job was ruled to benefit directly from federal dollars, Casey would be prohibited from running as a partisan candidate — he could run as an independent, she said, but not as a registered Democrat, as he did during the Sept. 11 primary.
When reached Wednesday evening, Casey said he was holding off on commenting on the issue for the moment. 
Brien also declined to comment further, saying he would reveal more details about his complaint during the press conference.
In January, the Woonsocket Fire Department received $300,000 in federal funding to boost public safety training, but Hanlon said she could not comment on whether a complaint had been received by her office, or the status of any ongoing investigation.
The latest Hatch Act press release posted this week involved a ruling against Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius Sept. 24. The office concluded that Secretary Sebelius violated the Hatch Act when she made extemporaneous partisan remarks in a speech delivered in her official capacity on Feb. 25, 2012, according to the OSC release on the ruling. 
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reclassified the trip from official to political and issued a statement to that effect.  The Democratic National Committee reimbursed the U.S. Treasury for all costs and expenses associated with her travel to the event. 
Casey is not the first emergency responder whose department has received federal grants who has won a Dist. 50 primary. Todd Brien, also a Democrat, a retired policeman, was elected to the post in 2000 and defeated by Jon Brien (no relation) in 2006.






Elaine Cloutier September 27, 2012 at 01:06 PM
This is a clear cut case of sour grapes. He couldn't win by turning out voters so he'll do anything he can to save his seat (and ego.) Let me ask the voters this. Are you better off now in Woonsocket than you were in 2006 when Jon Brien took office. And remember, Brien voted to change the school funding formula that lost the city millions and could be said to have contributed to the shortfall in the school department that led to our fiscal crisis. He was also only one of three co-sponsors that gave Curt Schilling $75 million. If he's such a good lawyer, why didn't he ask questions when asked to co-sponsor? Why did he just sign on blindly? And finally, why was he so opposed to raising taxes on millionaires last assembly session? Are so many of his constituents millionaires that he didn't want to offend them or was he just trying to save himself from paying more taxes?
common cents September 27, 2012 at 01:12 PM
This is to easy.Where do I begin?Jon please just take your ball and go home.
Richard September 27, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Jon, you may also be in violation of the Hatch Act. Are you not a hired prosecutor for the City of Woonsocket of which receives federal funding for this position through the city via Police Department?
common cents September 27, 2012 at 01:16 PM
If this doesn't work Jon has scheduled a press conference for next week at Babys R us.At this one he plans to stomp his feet until he wins.
John R Dionne September 27, 2012 at 01:26 PM
This is a very interesting situation in that the Police and Fire Departments have benefited from federal monies for many years. With fire, new fire trucks and emergency vehicles and now training. How this effects a individual firefighter is I guess the question. You may not like what Brien is doing if you a Casey vote, but following the law in this great nation does not make you a "sore-loser". We are a nation of laws but of course this is "Woonsocket" John R Dionne
Suzy Sunshine September 27, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Wow...I have heard of sore losers before, but this guy takes it to a whole new level! If Casey gets ousted because of this sore loser's ridiculousness, there should be another election. The city has spoken and we want Brien out. Finding every loop hole so that you can win is absolutely CRAZY!!!!
Common Sense September 27, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Monkey, would that include municipal employee Jon Brien? He is employed by the cities of Woonsocket and Central Falls.
Gimmeabreak September 27, 2012 at 02:09 PM
"The Hatch Act limits the political activities of FEDERAL employees on and off duty...." Unless they changed the name to the U.S. FIre Department he is not a FEDERAL employee...this is one hell of a stretch and Brien the Bad Loser knows it
Brian O'Ryan September 27, 2012 at 02:13 PM
If you can't win fair and square, man to man, take him to court and bypass the voters! Great message to send out, John! With all of these press conferences and continually crying to the media, it really shows us all how much of a snake you truly are...Trying desperately to stay in the public's eye. Sounds exactly like an ALEC plan to me. Did your ALEC bosses pull the strings on you to make this move???
David T September 27, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Look up the Hatch Act. It's been around for decades and used now by Republicans to reverse elections that they lost to Democrats or to oust incumbents. How many sitting elected officials could this be applied to? And why is he doing this now rather than before the Primaries? I guess it's because he didn't think he needed to use such a desperate/weasel move to win back then.
Jimmy Cliff September 27, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Lawyers ,Doctors, steelworkers, Bus Drivers, none of them should be able to run. Really Monkeyshines. Democracy look it up you twit!!!!
Jimmy Cliff September 27, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Right Brian!!!
Brian O'Ryan September 27, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Great point! He had better watch his steps here!!!
SDE September 27, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Guess well have to see who wins here. I'm one more vote for Jon he didn't get in the primary. I think Casey may be in trouble
SDE September 27, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Common sense does the law not matter to you? If Brien complaint holds up Casey had no business running in the primary
Wu Sao September 27, 2012 at 03:18 PM
It remains to be seen if this law is applicable in this circumstance. "The Hatch Act limits certain political activities of Federal employees both on and off duty. (Members of the Senior Executive Service, are subject to further restrictions and should contact the General Counsel's office for additional guidance.) Violations of the Hatch Act may result in disciplinary action, up to and including removal." The key term here is "federal employee".
Wu Sao September 27, 2012 at 03:32 PM
"The Hatch Act limits certain political activities of Federal employees both on and off duty. (Members of the Senior Executive Service, are subject to further restrictions and should contact the General Counsel's office for additional guidance.) Violations of the Hatch Act may result in disciplinary action, up to and including removal." Brien's attempt here is clearly a gross misinterpretation of the Hatch Act and should not warrant any further action. There are obviously bigger players in this race than just Brien and Casey. If this was that great an issue or a serious violation, wouldn't Brien, who is an attorney, have filed this complaint prior to the primary? Or is it the fact that he lost and the groups ,such as ALEC, that Brien is beholden to are trying to keep their puppet in office? http://www.archives.gov/legal/ethics/hatch-act.html
Wu Sao September 27, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Beholden to no one with the minor exception of ALEC. But that's all!!
Brian O'Ryan September 27, 2012 at 04:06 PM
That's interesting. But, as many are saying here, John may also be in violation with the Hatch Act due to his being a "prosecutor for the City of Woonsocket of which receives federal funding for this position through the city via Police Department". If this is true then John should be very careful of the attention he is drawing to himself.
Brian O'Ryan September 27, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Maybe John could have next weeks press conference to talk more about this? http://www.politifact.com/rhode-island/statements/2011/mar/27/jon-brien/rep-brien-says-woonsocket-needs-garbage-burning-po/ Pants on fire, John.
Dawn Mackenzie September 27, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Well I am a vote Casey didn't get. He isn't in trouble at all.
DR September 27, 2012 at 05:04 PM
David, I guess we will not know until November.
Wu Sao September 27, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Yes, but the question remains, shouldn't this have been caught prior to the primary election? Why waste the voters time and energy? Brien made a big deal about Casey being a firefighter and accussing him of being a Union puppet, you think this would have been his first step to derail Casey not his last. Unless of course, there is someone else behind Brien pulling the strings.
la_mouffette September 27, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Why didn't he use it before the primaries? There's a much better reason than that. Use your brain and work it out.
Russell Archambault September 27, 2012 at 08:46 PM
If we, the citizen could only file a " Complaint" Against everything..........what would it be ? ...........
Russell Archambault September 27, 2012 at 09:34 PM
CC;will governor the clown be there also?
common cents September 27, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Mr.Dionne,if Mr. Brien Is hired by the city as an attorney is he also in violation?Mr. Casey,please go file a complaint against Mr. Brien if his works.
AxeAdcox September 27, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Not sure, is God a registered voter?!
KJ September 27, 2012 at 11:00 PM
From what I see, if the Hatch Act is an issue, why wasn't it addressed before the elections? It's only addressed because Jon lost... Guess he thought he was going to win.. How pathetic that a grown man can't stand to lose... What a disgrace... Why would the tax payers want him in office when he's acting like a child?? It doesn't surprise me that he may have been the one that helped the city lose monies for the school department.. Why should he care? He doesn't support the school department, because he pays for private school.. He's not looking out for the taxpayers benefit in my opinion.. Grow up & move on.. You LOST!!!
la_mouffette September 28, 2012 at 01:16 AM
It's hard to say because, originally, it looks like Hatch applied on state and local levels, too. It's only been in the past 30 years that the restriction has loosened a bit. It will be interesting to see how this all turns out. If pursued, I think it will depend on whether the court thinks partisan Union interest is tangled in this election. That seems like it will be an important element. But who knows? Maybe it won't be pursued?...

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