- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 26, 2005


Federal investigators have agreed to a settle a complaint that D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams’ former chief of staff violated the Hatch Act by asking city employees to contribute to the mayor’s 2002 re-election campaign.

The settlement ends a nearly seven-month investigation by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel into Kelvin J. Robinson’s campaign activities while employed as Mr. Williams’ chief of staff — a job he quit just before the probe began.

Under the terms of the settlement, Mr. Robinson agreed not to seek or accept employment with the D.C. government for a two-year period and the special counsel agreed to dismiss the complaint.

Williams spokeswoman Sharon Gang said the mayor was pleased the case had been resolved.

“He still considers Kelvin a friend and a trusted adviser,” she said.

Mr. Robinson could not be reached for comment.

Mr. Robinson announced his voluntary resignation as chief of staff July 7, two days before the special counsel filed its petition seeking his removal from the job for violating the Hatch Act.

At the time, Mr. Robinson said he was quitting to take a private-sector job as president and chief executive officer of EmergeDC, a business and government relations firm with offices in the District and headquarters in his home state of Florida.

The resignation took effect Aug. 1, making Mr. Robinson the fifth chief of staff to quit Mr. Williams in six years.

The Hatch Act prohibits federal, state and local government employees from coercing political contributions from subordinates.

The special counsel charged that Mr. Robinson, during a Aug. 8, 2002, campaign rally, asked city employees to volunteer on the mayor’s campaign.

Another charge accused Mr. Robinson of soliciting political contributions by asking city workers to purchase tickets to the Kennedy-King dinner, a fund-raiser for the D.C. Democratic State Committee.

Penalties could have included Mr. Robinson’s removal from government employment and the District’s forfeiture of federal grant dollars equal to two years of Mr. Robinson’s $132,395 annual salary.

— S.A. Miller

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