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.

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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