Sebelius Found To Have Violated The Hatch Act
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel concludes that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius violated the federal law that governs government officials' political actions.
The Associated Press: HHS Secretary Sebelius Found To Have Violated Law That Restricts Political Activity
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius violated a federal law that restricts political activity by government officials, a federal ethics office said in a report Wednesday. Off-the-cuff remarks by Sebelius during a speech earlier this year to a gay rights group in North Carolina violated the Hatch Act, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel said in a report to the White House (Alonso-Zaldivar, 9/12).
The Wall Street Journal: Health Secretary Broke Law That Limits Campaigning
The agency forwarded its report to the White House for possible disciplinary action. A White House spokesman said Wednesday that Ms. Sebelius wouldn't be penalized, and that she and her department have already taken steps that put the matter to rest. The Democratic National Committee said on Wednesday that it has reimbursed taxpayers for the $2,515 cost of Ms. Sebelius's trip, a standard remedy for such violations (Nicholas, 9/12).
Politico: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's Comments Violated Hatch Act, OSC Concludes
The special counsel's office said it "found no evidence that Secretary Sebelius made any other political statements in her official capacity." During a speech to the Human Rights Campaign Gala in North Carolina in February, Sebelius said North Carolina Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton “needs to be the next governor of North Carolina” (Haberkorn, 9/12).
Also in the news, The Wall Street Journal reports on some of the considerations in the mix as advisers to GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney look for candidates to lead HHS, if he wins the presidency.
The Wall Street Journal: Romney Team Preps To Fill A Cabinet
Mike Leavitt, the former Utah governor who is overseeing the Romney transition team, briefed campaign donors on the planning process during the GOP convention in Tampa. Participants said his description was reminiscent of a corporate takeover. ... The transition team is looking at the Department of Health and Human Services with an eye toward fulfilling Mr. Romney's promise to repeal the president's health-care law. ... The team's goal is ... also to evaluate which policy changes require congressional support and which Mr. Romney could put in place with executive powers (Murray and Paletta, 9/11).