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REPORT: Postal Service ‘Engaged in Systemic Violations’ of the Hatch Act to Help Clinton’s Campaign

An Office of Special Counsel report found that the USPS has been engaging in the questionable practice for the past 20 years.

According to an Office of Special Counsel (OSC) report that was obtained by Fox News, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) “engaged in systemic violations” of the Hatch Act, “by letting employees do union-funded work for Hillary Clinton’s campaign and other Democratic candidates,” during the 2016 cycle.

The Hatch Act is a federal law that:

“Limits certain political activities of federal employees, as well as some state, D.C., and local government employees who work in connection with federally funded programs. The law’s purposes are to ensure that federal programs are administered in a nonpartisan fashion, to protect federal employees from political coercion in the workplace, and to ensure that federal employees are advanced based on merit and not based on political affiliation.”

The OSC investigation found that USPS had “engaged in systemic violations” when it allowed employees to leave without pay to participate in the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Labor 2016 program.

According to the report, “the Labor 2016 program sought to ‘elect Hillary Clinton and pro-worker candidates across the country,’” by having its members participate in “door-to-door canvassing, phone banks, and other get-out-the-vote efforts.” The OSC report found that officials at multiple levels of USPS were involved, and that the practice is “long-standing, going back many election cycles, and perhaps started in the 1990s.”

The OSC report also found that 82 percent of this political work occurred in 2016 battleground states.

The investigation into the USPS started when Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) brought a constituent complaint to the OSC in October. The constituent expressed concern to Johnson that the USPS practices “incurred unnecessary overtime costs” and “improperly coordinated” with NALC.

The OSC’s Acting Special Counsel Adam Milesa greed with this constituent’s concerns writing in a statement:

“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.”

USPS Postmaster General Megan Brennan said in a prepared statement that the USPS “will change our practice in consultation with the OSC and based upon OSC’s guidance. This will ensure that we do not put our people in harms way and they do not unintentionally run afoul of the Hatch Act.”