|Sibelius: Cited for violation of Hatch Act|
Life Site News reports today that a new report from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel notified President Barack Obama today that Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius broke the law when she advocated for the election of a candidate during a speech at a pro-abortion group’s event.
Sebelius violated the Hatch Act, which prohibited federal employees from officially supporting the election or defeat of a candidate.
The report, according to ABC, indicates Sebelius broke the law when she appeared as the Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker at a February 25, 2012 event sponsored by the pro-abortion group Human Rights Campaign in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The event was billed as official travel, and she appeared at the event in an official capacity, but in her remarks – which departed from her official text – she advocated for the election of Lt. Governor Walter Dalton in his primary and general election race for governor, and for the re-election of President Obama, saying, “one of the imperatives is to make sure that we not only come together here in Charlotte to present the nomination to the president, but we make sure that in November he continues to be president for another four years.
After media inquiries following those remarks, the Department of Health and Human Services “retroactively reclassified the event as political,” the OSC report states,and reimbursed the federal government for the costs of her travel.
When asked about her remarks in an interview with OSC investigators, the report says Sebelius “expressed regret for the statements” regarding Dalton “since there were ‘other primary opponents who were close by.’” She said her “‘shout out’ came across ‘as an endorsement.’” She allowed that her comments about President Obama were “a mistake” and an example of her again going “off script.” “I clearly made a mistake,” Sebelius said. “I was not intending to use an official capacity to do a political event.”
Despite the violation, the report did not suggest the Obama administration take any action against the pro-abortion HHS secretary.