May 31, 2018
CREW filed a complaint against Lynne Patton, the regional administrator of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today requesting an investigation of potential Hatch Act violations.
The Hatch Act prohibits any executive branch employee from using their “official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election.” It appears that Patton used her official Twitter account, @LynnePattonHUD, to engage in political speech on at least three separate occasions. In each of these instances (beginning on December 22, 2017) Patton’s official account “liked” campaign endorsement posts and tweets containing clear political speech.
CREW’s complaint with the Office of Special Counsel calls for an investigation into these actions to determine whether Patton has violated the Hatch Act by advocating for partisan political outcomes as an official of the executive branch.