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.