An IRS employee was suspended for 100 days for using his job at the agency’s help line to try to convince callers to vote for President Obama, a government watchdog agency announced Thursday.
The employee, whose name wasn’t mentioned in the announcement from the Office of Special Counsel, admitted to using his job for political purposes and agreed to the settlement that involved a 100-day suspension.
“OSC’s complaint alleged that, when fielding taxpayers’ questions on an IRS customer service help line, the employee repeatedly urged taxpayers to re-elect President Obama in 2012 by delivering a chant based on the spelling of the employee’s last name,” the investigative office said.
The OSC also announced a U.S. Postal Service employee was fired after he ran for seats in Congress and solicited donations to his campaign, violating the Hatch Act that limits government employees’ ability to get involved in politics.
That man, Marcus Lewis, ran despite being warned against it by the OSC, leading to a series of personnel hearings that resulted in the Merit Systems Protection Board demanding he be fired.
The judgment against the IRS employee, meanwhile, was the third instance where the tax agency has run afoul of the Hatch Act in recent months.
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The OSC announced in May that the Dallas office of the IRS had to be warned after complaints that it was “commonplace” to have pro-Obama screensavers on computers, and to have campaign-style buttons and stickers at the office.
And an IRS employee in Kentucky served a 14-day suspension for blasting Republicans in a telephone conversation with a taxpayer.