Tags: julian castro | hatch act | violation | clinton | obama | vice president

Julian Castro Hatch Act Violation to Endanger His Clinton VP Chances?

Image: Julian Castro Hatch Act Violation to Endanger His Clinton VP Chances?
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro introduces Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at a 'Latinos for Hillary' grassroots event October 15, 2015 in San Antonio, Texas. The event was part of the campaign's ongoing effort to build an organization outside of the four early states and work hard for every vote. (Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 19 Jul 2016 08:46 AM

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro violated the Hatch Act when he commented on the current presidential election while in his capacity as a federal official.

In a statement Monday, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel determined that Castro broke the federal law during an interview with Yahoo News anchor Katie Couric on April 4, 2016.

"… Secretary Castro's statements during the interview impermissibly mixed his personal political views with official agency business despite his efforts to clarify that some answers were being given in his personal capacity," said the counsel's statement.

"Federal employees are permitted to make partisan remarks when speaking in their personal capacity, but not when using their official title or when speaking about agency business. OSC conducted an investigation after receiving a complaint about the interview," the statement continued.

The office said that an investigative report was sent to President Barack Obama.

In response to the investigation, Castro claimed that the error was made inadvertently and initially believed that his disclaimer before giving his answers were enough to satisfy the Hatch Act.

"In responding to a journalist's question about the 2016 election, I offered my opinion to the interviewer after making it clear that I was articulating my personal view and not an official position," Castro wrote to the special counsel. "At the time, I believed that this disclaimer was what was required by the Hatch Act. However, your analysis provides that it was not sufficient."

"Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention. When an error is made – even an inadvertent one - the error should be acknowledged. Although it was not my intent, I made one here," Castro's statement continued.

According to Politico, Castro talked about his endorsement of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the Yahoo News interview.

"Now, taking off my HUD hat for a second and just speaking individually, it is very clear that Hillary Clinton is the most experienced, thoughtful, and prepared candidate for president that we have this year."

Castro went on to answer a question about what he saw in the possible presidency of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump before turning back a question about being a candidate for vice president.

"What I am interested in, though, is trying to do a great job here at HUD and serving the people that we do serve, folks that are of modest means but who deserve our attention and our efforts," Castro said. "And so I don't believe that is going to happen, but I am supportive of Secretary Clinton and I believe she is going to make a great president."

Politico wrote that former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was found violating the law in 2012 in a speech to a gay rights organization when she advocated for Obama's re-election. Ex-Labor Secretary Hilda Solis was investigated for fundraising, which also sparked an FBI investigation in 2012, but resigned before those inquiries were completed.

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Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro violated the Hatch Act when he commented on the current presidential election while in his capacity as a federal official.
julian castro, hatch act, violation, clinton, obama, vice president
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2016-46-19
Tuesday, 19 Jul 2016 08:46 AM
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