The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) on Tuesday announced a settlement with former Housing and Urban Development (HUD) official Lynne Patton, a political appointee and ally of former President TrumpDonald TrumpSanders calls out Manchin, Sinema ahead of filibuster showdown Laura Ingraham 'not saying' if she'd support Trump in 2024 The Hill's 12:30 Report: Djokovic may not compete in French Open over vaccine requirement MORE's, for a Hatch Act violation over a video she produced for last year's Republican National Convention.
As part of the settlement, Patton admitted that she violated the Hatch Act with the video in which the then-HUD Region II administrator interviewed residents of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) about their living conditions while apparently not letting the participants know that the video would be used for political purposes.
"During her approximately one-month stay, Patton met residents and later leveraged one of these relationships to recruit participants to film a video that would air at the RNC. Patton wanted NYCHA residents to appear in the video to explain how their standard of living had improved under the Trump administration," the OSC said in a news release.
"By using information and NYCHA connections available to her solely by virtue of her HUD position, Patton improperly harnessed the authority of her federal position to assist the Trump campaign in violation of the Hatch Act," the statement continued.
Under the settlement, Patton will be barred from federal employment for two years and pay a $1,000 fine.
Patton was a top supporter of Trump in 2016 and spoke onstage at that year's Republican National Convention. Following his 2016 election victory, she was appointed to HUD and served through the end of his administration.
In a statement to The New York Times last year, Patton denied that any of the participants were misled about the purpose of the video, despite several of them telling the Times they were not informed it would play at the convention.
“Each participated regardless of political party because they recognized the importance of having a voice on the national stage and the undeniable improvements that have transpired under this administration,” Patton said of the video in August of 2020.
The Trump administration was the subject of multiple Hatch Act violations during his four years in office. The OSC has previously recommended that then-White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne ConwayPennsylvania Republican David McCormick launches Senate campaign McCormick drawing support from Trump alumni ahead of Pennsylvania Senate bid Christie says Trump, Meadows should have warned him of positive COVID-19 test MORE be fired for being a repeat offender.