The Hatch Act : It’s not just for federal employees anymore!
The Hatch Act of 19391 (“Hatch Act”) was originally enacted to prevent federal employees from participating in partisan political activity, thereby curtailing corruption in the political process. In 1940, the law was expanded to cover state and local employees whose salaries are paid, in part, by federal funds or whose duties are connected to federally funded activities. In the 1940s and 1970s, the Hatch Act was appealed to the United States Supreme Court on the grounds that it violated free speech but both times, the high court upheld the constitutionality of the prohibitions. In 1993, the law was amended to clarify that federal, state and local employees maintain certain rights to engage in personal, off-duty, voluntary partisan activity, speech and expression. Despite the clarification that off-duty speech is protected, the statutory restrictions of the Hatch Act can have serious implications for federal, state and local government employees as well as those individuals who interact with these covered employees. Because of this, it is useful for all government affairs attorneys to have a basic familiarity with the Hatch Act and its restrictions.
The prohibitions contained in the Hatch Act can be summarized as follows: covered employees may not: (1) be candidates for public office in a partisan election; (2) use official authority or influence to interfere with or affect the results of an election; or (3) directly or indirectly coerce contributions from subordinates in support of a political candidate.2 Alleged violations of the Hatch Act are investigated by the United States Office of Special Counsel. If, following an investigation, there is evidence of a violation, a written complaint for disciplinary action may be filed with the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (“MSPB”) where a trial-like proceeding will be held. After consideration of the record, the MSPB will determine if discipline is warranted. Importantly, if discipline is warranted, the penalty may be forfeiture of employment.
Taken in part from a letter written by By John A. Knapp and Tammera R. Diehm Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.
With the above aforementioned excerpt in mind, we would now like to know why one of our favorite public delay, and disinformation communication outreach directors for the Albuquerque Police department would have two Facebook pages. Hmmmmm...
You see, one seems to be a personal page, where she is heavily campaigning for her husband Diego Espinosa, who is running on the Republican ticket for the District 9 New Mexico Senate seat against Sen. John Sapien, and the other one lists her as a Community outreach Director for the Albuquerque Police Department, with a direct link to APD from that page. You can check out both links below:
Where things get a little funny is one... This is one of the main spokespersons for the biggest police department in the state, which neighbors District 9, and two...there are personal contact and police department advertisement spillover onto her personal page, where she is promoting her husband's campaign. Not only that... but on the Facebook page listing her as being employed by APD. She has a link to her husband's official campaign page there. Look lower right at the bottom.
Is this fair? We will hold off on assumptions of what goes on behind the scenes, but we are not stupid. With the way facebook news feeds work, we think this is a mighty inappropriate way to try and circumvent ethical practices of using an advantageous public position for personal gain and political influence.
With all of that aside even..... Mrs. Espinoza has dodged the media on information issues, given the citizens the run a round on IPRA requests, not returned calls for statements, and carried the water for this filthy corrupt administration. There are sayings like "Birds of a feather." We wonder. Considering what Republicans like Coward Berry have done to this city, and his pizzahhh party buddy Suzanaaaa Martinez, along with Jay McCleskey's plans, people are getting fed up with the schemes, croneyism, political bullshit, lies, and phony smile in your face to get your vote nonsense.
Look at the below screen shots our Eyes in the field have gathered before it all disappears. You be the judge. There seems to beca lot of spillover back and forth.
And just for the record, courageous men face scrutiny, they don't run away from it, make youtube videos to dodge the media, or hide until things blow over. Holy men do not politically attack people, lie under oath, or send their officers in harms way, unprepared during a riot, to look like a savior in the public's eyes. Holy men are not self serving. Compassionate men do not sacrifice their Officers, by scapegoating them to protect themselves, and a true leader surely does none of this. Do they Chief Eden? But some people will just say anything. We here at the Eye hope you enjoyed your birthday cake at work while those tangled in the mess you continue to perpetuate continue on. We are disgusted!