Hillary Clinton got some bad news on Wednesday when the Office of Special Council ruled the US Postal Service broke the law by allowing employees to campaign for her during work hours.
Fox News reported that the OSC found that the USPS “engaged in systemic violations” of the Hatch Act, a federal law that limits certain political activities of federal employees. An OSC report explained that though employees are allowed to do campaign work when they are off the job, the Postal Service showed a “bias” favoring the union’s 2016 campaign operation.
This came after a months-long investigation was carried out by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis. This was in response to a constituent complaint that was brought to the attention of the OSC by a USPS employee. This worker was concerned the Postal Service “incurred unnecessary overtime costs” and “improperly coordinated” with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) when it released members for several weeks of “union official” leave without pay to participate in campaign work.
“The Labor 2016 program sought to ‘elect Hillary Clinton and pro-worker candidates across the country,’” the report stated, citing campaign work like door-to-door canvassing, phone banks and other get-out-the-vote efforts.
“We concluded that the USPS practice of facilitating and directing carrier releases for the union’s political activity resulted in an institutional bias in favor of NALC’s endorsed political candidates, which the Hatch Act prohibits,” OSC Acting Special Counsel Adam Miles said while testifying before the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which is set to hold a hearing Wednesday on the matter.
“As a federal entity, the USPS must remain politically neutral,” Miles’ testimony said. “In many localities, the Postal Service is a citizen’s primary point of contact with the federal government, reinforcing the need for strict adherence to the letter and the spirit of the Hatch Act.”
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