Senior HUD official reprimanded for making political statements on the job

Senior HUD official reprimanded for making political statements on the job
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A senior official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) received a warning letter from the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) over violating the Hatch Act by making political statements at her government job, Politico reported.

However, the special counsel’s office decided not to pursue disciplinary action on the violations relating to Lynne Patton, according to the letter provided by HUD. 

The special counsel's office said Patton violated the Hatch Act twice when she used her official government Twitter to promote political tweets and displayed a red “USA” hat sold by the Trump campaign in her office.

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But the office also cleared her of two other alleged violations involving a tweet defending HUD Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonTrump officials say aid to Puerto Rico was knowingly stalled after Hurricane Maria Yes, President Trump, we do have a homelessness crisis and you're making it harder for us to address New HUD rule would eliminate housing stability for thousands of students MORE and her appearance at an oversight hearing featuring Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenTrump offers condolences on frequent foe Cummings: 'Very hard, if not impossible, to replace' Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 Schiff says committees will eventually make impeachment inquiry transcripts public MORE

“Although OSC concluded that you violated the Hatch Act by unwittingly displaying a campaign hat in your office and ‘liking’ partisan political tweets on your official Twitter account, we have decided not to pursue disciplinary action and are closing our files without further action,” Erica Hamrick, deputy chief of the special counsel office's Hatch Act Unit, wrote in the letter to Patton Wednesday, according to Politico. 

Patton is the department’s regional administrator for New York and New Jersey. 

She has ties to the Trump family dating back to before her appointment, having served as the vice president of the Eric TrumpEric Frederick TrumpDem committee chairs blast Trump G-7 announcement Donald Trump Jr. hits back at critics over hypocrisy claims The Hill's Morning Report — Arrest of Giuliani associates triggers many questions MORE Foundation. 

Patton thanked the Office of Special Counsel in an emailed statement, claiming the office “determined that I did not violate the Hatch Act” based on the two alleged incidents she was cleared of.

She called the incidents she was found to be in violation for “minor infractions.” 

“I look forward to continuing to focus on the residents of New York and New Jersey, whose well-being I care about the most,” she added. 

—Updated at 4:04 p.m.