Jon Brien: Stephen Casey's Candidacy For Dist. 50 Invalid

Sept. 21 ruling from US Office of Special Counsel indicates firefighter from department taking federal grant can't run for office


Armed with a Sept. 21 ruling from the US Office of Special Counsel, Rep. Jon Brien, (D-Dist. 50) said he is calling for the removal of firefighter Stephen Casey from the Nov. 6 ballot and for his name to be placed on it.

Brien said Casey's candidacy violates the Hatch Act because he works for the Woonsocket Fire Department, which recieves federal funding for training. 

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.

A Sept. 21 ruling from the US Office of Special Counsel in the case of the primary race between Coventry, RI candidates Leonidas Raptakis and firefighter David Gorman stated that since Gorman worked for a fire department that recieved federal funds, his candidacy was not valid.

However, since Raptakis won the primary, the office closed the case without taking further action.

"After investigating this matter, we conclude that Mr. Gorman's candidacy for Rhode Island state representative was in violation of the Hatch Act," wrote Nadia Pluta, an attorney with the US Office of Special Counsel's Hatch Act Unit.

Brien's lawyer, Joshua Macktaz, said they were calling for an immediate remedy to the situation, which should be the timely removal of Stephen Casey from the ballot and the additon of Brien to it, in time to save the City of Woonsocket from the cost of a special election.

Still Hope September 28, 2012 at 01:09 AM
There are two possible outcomes: 1. Casey is NOT found in violation. He wins the election. 2. Casey is found in violation. Brien keeps his seat. A whole can of worms is opened and other GA members are investigated. Brien becomes most hated man in RI government. Either way, Jon's a loser.
The Rocket September 28, 2012 at 01:47 AM
A very objective point of view,devoid of emotion.A clever move it was,let's see if it pans out.God knows,firefighters have plenty of representation as it is. I still don't understand all the ill will against him,if it's for his lack of support of the supplemental then i say three cheers for him!
Russell Archambault September 28, 2012 at 02:17 AM
The purpose of the Hatch Act of 1887 was to establish an agricultural experiment. WOW how history repeats itself.
Russell Archambault September 28, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Lever Act of 1914, Must have been on how to pull the lever after you came out of the voting booth. Now we only have to make a little line in the middle of the arrows to make the wrong choice. WOW, how we've come along
Gotta love Woonsocket September 28, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Im not really familiar with the Hatch Act......But isn't Jon Brien an Assistant Solicitor for the City of Woonsocket? Wouldn't that make Jon Brien an employee for the City of Woonsocket? Doesn't the City of woonsocket benefit from federal funding & grants? Im a little bit confused...Wait a minute that's why I moved out of Woonsocket!!!
DR September 28, 2012 at 06:16 AM
Folks don't stop complaining and bickering-the show must go on.
KJ September 28, 2012 at 09:50 AM
If this is such an issue, why wasn't this addressed when Casey's name was accepted onto the Sept 11, Primary Election ballot? Guess Jon thought he was going to win... Well guess what, the taxpayers in this city are sick & tired of cleaning up after everyone... The residents voted fairly to show that a change was needed.. If this wasn't addressed before the Primary Elections, them the decision should stand... He's suppose to be a grown man, but he's acting like a child because he lost.. I'm sure the people in this city don't want an immature person like Jon in office.. If he was one of the problems for the schools fair funding formula, why should he care if the school department is broke? He pays for private school.. No faith in the school department... He LOST & he needs to accept this & move on...
John September 28, 2012 at 11:53 AM
They're not all retired. Karen McBeth is a Woonsocket principal and a current State Rep.
Common Sense September 28, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Novan for life, Brien has not "retired" from his position as assistant solicitor in Woonsocket. He also is the solicitor for the city of C.F. Filling his pockets with taxpayer money and both cities receive huge federal grants to assist the police depts.. He's FINISHED
J. Head September 28, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Whatever the outcome of this lawsuit there is one thing I am almost 100% certain of, and that is even if Jon Brien wins it will be his last term as a politician for the people of Woonsocket. He is undermining the people of Woonsocket and their clear choice of who they wanted to represent them in the GA. This is may be a short term fix for Jon, but it is political suicide for him as well. After speaking to several people who have voted for Jon throughout his political career, this lawsuit has left a bitter taste in their mouth and changed their mind about voting for Jon.
John R Dionne September 28, 2012 at 12:50 PM
I understand teachers are exempt from the hatch act. Also Brien is a outside contractor for the city and receives a 1099 not a W2 so he is not a employee. The city code does call for possible asst. city solicitors but those positions have not been filled to save the benefits costs. The city council would have to approve the addition of any employees which they have not. John R Dionne
Jerry September 28, 2012 at 01:53 PM
I can't believe, oh yes I can believe the audacity of Rep Brien trying to make a comeback. Is it his ego, embarrassment, or what that he lost his thinking, "entitlement"? Maybe his wife, STELLA, can represent him. Central Falls and Woonsocket should dismiss him for poor professionalism.
common cents September 28, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Mr.Brien will be cleaning out his locker at the statehouse long before this will be resolved.He thinks he can fast track this and be on the ballot for election day.I don't think so.The ballots have been printed all ready.Don't be lazy Mr.Brien,get out there and try to make this write in thing work.It's your only shot.And if by some miracle you do win good luck getting anything done with all the bridges you've burned in the dem.party.But I almost forgot your a republican anyway.
Common Sense September 28, 2012 at 03:49 PM
With all due respect to Mr. Dionne...Brien receiving a 1099 or W2. His check is drawn from the City of Woonsocket. He performs the same job (not as good) as the former solicitor. He just doesn't get benefits. Stop trying to do the end around with everything
Larry Hoovah September 28, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Being a firefighter in the city of woonsocket is not a federal job. Fire departments are not for profit departments, so federal money doesn't make a difference. Firefighters don't get paid more money if there is grants to fix trucks, pay for training etc, the money benefits the city general fund by supplementing money, not the individual fire fighters of the city. So the bottom line Stephen Casey doesn't directly benefit from federal funding, the City of Woonsocket does.
DR September 28, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Thanks for the info John..
John R Dionne September 28, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Common Sense, I guess you don't pay taxes or you would know the difference between a 1099 and a W2 Form. This is not a end around its the facts. Check the IRS laws online. If you recall I objected to Joe Carroll receving life health when he retired as a city prosecutor because he was suppose to receive a 1099. They gave him a W2 even though he was no a employee, thus guess what we pay $17K for his health. Thanks Mr. Ward
arbi September 28, 2012 at 09:05 PM
BREAKING NEWS: JOHN BRIUN CANDIDACY, DIST. 50 INVALID: Candidate Casey - Fire Dept. Candidate Briun- Police Dept.: both are compensated for their employment from the municipality of the City Of Woonsocket; the city on the move to bankruptcy. Both departments receive FEDERAL GRANT DOLLARS that have strict guidelines on how the dollars are spent and the departments are required to report expenditures quarterly to the federal agency who supplied the monies. None of the dollars can be used for payroll compensation. That being said, shouldn't John Briun's name also be taken off the ballot for violating the Hatch Act? What sickens me is that not only is Woonsocket the laughing stock of neighboring communities in that our leadership allowed us to fall to the brink of bankruptcy with still no plan expressed to the public for over a year; now we have a representative (who says he supports the people of Woonsocket) who wants to take away our right as a U.S. citizen to caste our vote and let it be counted (I mean for all the voters who voted in the primary). Is this a person who "cares about the people" here in the city or state? Most cadidates with integrity and character would congratulate his opponent and say "good race". John, you are a disgrace to all the people you represent (or pretend to). Most adults teach children if you can't play fair take your ball and go home. Let our votes count, be an adult. PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN!
Steve September 28, 2012 at 10:14 PM
John, don't bother ... Your head will explode before these posters understand what you're talking about. Example: look at this post below, they can't even spell his name right! What a great country right!......... Can you tell Civics was never taught in school in the last 30 years? But we all have an Obamaphone right!
arbi September 28, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Is this for Sat. Night Live skit? Who's part of the government? Firefighter or existing State Representative? Last I knew fire fighter public safety and State Rep. government?
Ed Roy September 28, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Here we go again. Brien, the elitist, just can't get over the fact that he lost. In his mind this could not be possible. How could he possibly loose his seat to a firefighter. Can everyone look real close to what this lose is going to cost him. He is so desperate he will stop at nothing to keep his seat. #1 He looses his taxpayer paid Family Blue Cross. #2 He looses his taxpayer paid paycheck for State Rep. ($14,000 - $16,000) #3 He probably looses his seat on the National Board of Directors for ALEC. The only "Democrat" (DINO) on a Republican organization. #4 He looses the chance to get his Waste to Energy Bill to allow Woonsocket to build a trash burning plant. Ask yourself why he has such interest in that. Could it be that there is a lot of money in it for him? This is just what Woonsocket needs. #5 He probably will never be asked to fill in for talk show hosts on WPRO 630AM where he can get his name out for higher office. #6 He problably won't be asked to do the WNRI friday morning show. And who knows, maybe the Mayor of Woonsocket and the receiver in Central Falls will let him go. That would probably cost him another 30 to 40K. And don't forget. Brien said he was doing a write-in campaign for the people, not for himself. Good joke Jon.
The Chorus September 28, 2012 at 11:24 PM
It's Jon Brien...tough to spell, I know.
David T September 29, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Hi John, not that I really want to poke Yogi bear, but W2s and 1099s are both earned income, right? If anyone here said that Jon is "employed" by the city or is a city "employee", that, as you are saying, is not technically correct. Jon isn't classified as a city "employee" because he is a city "independent contractor", as you have stated. And I know you know all of this. But he does provide a service to the city and the city pays him. Its all part of his income as a lawyer. We all know that the city receives federal money, and its used for various items. But, after reading about the Hatch Act and the recent case Jon referenced, I think Jon's accusation is ridiculous. I also think the counter-accusations by some on Patch that Jon violated the Hatch Act because the city pays him are equally ridiculous. And Jon as a lawyer should know that the OSC will not rule in his favor, not now, in time for the general election, and not ever. I really think this all he has left to put his own face in the news cycle and to make Mr. Casey out to be a law breaking, union boss controlled puppet. I also think he is risking ruining what's left of his public persona. What will he think of next?
David T September 29, 2012 at 12:45 AM
DR September 29, 2012 at 01:15 AM
$17k per year for life health care, wow what a waste of taxpayer's money. Is this the same Mr. Ward that voted for a supplemental tax for the citizens of Woonsocket and is on the Budget Commission? What's wrong with this picture? Wake-up Taxpayers.
John R Dionne September 29, 2012 at 01:21 PM
The City hires outside lawyers for different reasons. Thye receive a 1099 not a W2 because they are not employees. The 1099 form does more than save benefits cost for the city it also saves matching taxes that are required for employees. That is why Brien is not paid from the payroll account but outside vendors account. If Brien did nothing on this hatch act matter after the ruling on another firefighter youall would be calling him a idiot. So he is a soreloser for moving forward and a idiot for not following the law, What a great country...... John R Dionne
DR September 29, 2012 at 07:09 PM
John, it is great that you share this information with us-it makes sense.
arbi September 29, 2012 at 07:11 PM
REALLY? Funny how nothing else is mispelled in the comment! DAAHHH! I guess you didn't get it.
Larry Hoovah September 30, 2012 at 06:45 PM
He's an idiot because he knew Casey was a firefighter before the primary and about the hatch act, he's a sore loser because he thought he could easily win and he didn't, now that he lost he's decided to go forward with the hatch act when he knew about it before the primary. If it was such a big deal Brien should have brought it up as soon as Casey decided to run for the position, not after he lost the primary.
Larry Hoovah September 30, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Very interesting Mr O'Bryan. I'd like to find out more on this situation, hopefully Brien buries himself with this one.


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