- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Middle Eastern firm’s deal to manage U.S. cargo port raises security concerns
- Bob McDonnell’s defense: Lonely wife developed ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House Republicans unveil bill to speed deportations of border children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
Consumer protection board under fire for suspected violations of Hatch act
Question of the Day
Already under fire for accusations of retaliation and discrimination, the Consumer Financial Protection Board now faces a congressional inquiry into whether officials there violated the law that bars partisan activity in the federal workplace.
The House Committee on Financial Services wants the financial watchdog agency to scour the email accounts of three officials for a dozen terms, including “Hatch,” “Democrat,” “Republican,” “conservative” and “party,” according to correspondence obtained by The Washington Times.
The request by Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, North Carolina Republican and chairman of the House Financial Service’s investigative subcommittee, seeks email records since January 2012 for Scott Pluta, assistant director for CFPB’s consumer response office and two other agency officials, Dane D’Allesandro and Rachael Goldfarb. The April 17 letter gave the board until Thursday to comply.
“We have received the letter and have been in communication with the Committee about providing responsive documents,” Sam Gilford wrote in an email.
The Hatch Act of 1939 limits certain political activities of most executive branch employees.
“For example, the law prohibits employees from engaging in political activity while on duty or in the Federal workplace. It also prohibits them from soliciting or receiving political contributions,” according to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.
A senior enforcement attorney at the board, Angela Martin, testified to the committee this month that she has faced retaliation after filing discrimination complaints but said she is not alone.
Misty Rauccia, an investigator retained by the board to look into Ms. Martin’s complaint, testified about broader problems in a “toxic workplace.”
Ms. Martin testified that the board’s director, Richard Cordray, told her to have her attorneys “back down” after she complained about workplace hostility.
In a statement after the hearing, Mr. Cordray said he would welcome the opportunity to appear before Congress.
“I take seriously the concerns raised at today’s hearing and deeply apologize to any member of the CFPB staff who feels that they have not been heard or treated fairly,” he said.
Hatch Act researcher Scott Coffina, associate White House counsel under President George W. Bush, said it’s hard to speculate exactly what the committee is seeking, but the request suggests lawmakers likely received a detailed complaint.
“The specificity of the individuals and the search terms suggests the committee believes the search will yield evidence,” he said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Jim McElhatton is an investigative reporter for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Power outage at Tennessee VA reveals safety risks for patients, staff
- House federal records plan would prevent repeat of IRS email scandal
- Whistleblowers flood VA with lawsuits despite apology
- Outrage over $190M deal for troubled federal contractor USIS
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Inside the Beltway: Immigration rage festers on all sides
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Obama: 'Not a new Cold War,' but new Russia sanctions announced
- Hillary Clinton: I was indeed 'dead broke,' but shouldn't have said so
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world