Workforce

White House official chided for violating Hatch Act

Twitter logo 

The White House social media director has been chided by an independent federal watchdog agency for inappropriate use of his personal Twitter account.

Dan Scavino Jr.’s Twitter remarks urging the unseating of Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) constituted a violation of the Hatch Act, according to the Office of Special Counsel.

The Hatch Act is a check against federal employees using their official positions to engage in partisan activities or political coercion in the workplace. Violators can be fired.

As a result of the violation, OSC issued Scavino a warning letter in response to the tweet.

News of the reprimand was transmitted to the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibilities and Ethics in Washington, which had filed a complaint against Scavino for the tweet.

“Mr. Scavino has been advised that if in the future he engages in prohibited political activity while employed in a position covered by the Hatch Act, we will consider such activity to be a willful and knowing violation of the law, which could result in further action,” wrote Ana Galindo-Marrone, chief of the OSC’s Hatch Act Unit.

On April 1, amid initial pushback in the House of Representatives on the GOP healthcare bill, Scavino, whose Twitter account at the time listed his official White House position and included a picture of him in the Oval Office, urged those aboard the "#TrumpTrain" to unseat Amash in the next primary, calling the congressman "a big liability."

Amash responded by tweeting, "Trump admin & Establishment have merged into #Trumpstablishment. Same old agenda: Attack conservatives, libertarians & independent thinkers."

CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said in response to the decision, "OSC has made clear with this ruling that they are going to enforce these important rules and work to keep the government free from inappropriate politics."

About the Author

Chase Gunter is a former FCW staff writer.

Featured

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

  • Comment
    Pilot Class. The author and Barbie Flowers are first row third and second from right, respectively.

    How VA is disrupting tech delivery

    A former Digital Service specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs explains efforts to transition government from a legacy "project" approach to a more user-centered "product" method.

  • Cloud
    cloud migration

    DHS cloud push comes with complications

    A pressing data center closure schedule and an ensuing scramble to move applications means that some Homeland Security components might need more than one hop to get to the cloud.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.