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Political Activities of Public Officers and Employees.

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Presentation on theme: "Political Activities of Public Officers and Employees."— Presentation transcript:

1 Political Activities of Public Officers and Employees

2 Hatch Act Little Hatch Act Florida Elections Code Code of Ethics Career Service Laws

3 Federal Hatch Act – 5 U.S.C. ss The Hatch Act is the 1939 law that regulates the political activities of federal employees and some state and local government workers. The legislation originally prohibited nearly all partisan activity by federal employees, banning them from endorsing candidates, distributing campaign literature, organizing political activities and holding posts in partisan organizations.

4 Federal Hatch Act – State and Local Employees. The Hatch Act restricts the political activity of individuals principally employed by state or local executive agencies and who work in connection with programs financed in whole or in part by federal loans or grants.

5 Federal Hatch Act – State and Local Employees. Covered state and local employees may not: be candidates for public office in a partisan election; use official authority or influence to interfere with or affect the results of an election or nomination; or directly or indirectly coerce, attempt to coerce, command, or advise a state or local officer or employee to pay, lend, or contribute anything of value to a party, committee, organization, agency, or person for political purposes.

6 Federal Hatch Act – State and Local Employees.. The following are a list of examples of the types of programs which frequently receive financial assistance from the federal government: public health, public welfare, housing, urban renewal and area redevelopment, employment security, labor and industry training, public works, conservation, agricultural, civil defense, transportation, anti-poverty, and law enforcement programs.

7 Federal Hatch Act – State and Local Employees.. Hatch Act provisions also apply to employees of private, nonprofit organizations that plan, develop and coordinate federal Head Start or Community Service Block Grant programs. State and local employees subject to the Hatch Act continue to be covered while on annual leave, sick leave, leave without pay, administrative leave or furlough.

8 Federal Hatch Act – State and Local Employees... Hatch Act provisions do not apply to: individuals who exercise no functions in connection with federally financed activities; or individuals employed by educational or research institutions, establishments, or agencies which are supported in whole or in part by state or political subdivisions thereof, or by recognized religious, philanthropic or cultural organizations (e.g., administrators, teachers).

9 Federal Hatch Act – State and Local Employees... Exemptions from the Hatch Act include: the governor or lieutenant governor of a state, or an individual authorized by law to act as governor; the mayor of a city; a duly elected head of an executive department of a state or municipality who is not classified under a state or municipal merit or civil service system; and an individual holding public elective office.

10 Federal Hatch Act – State and Local Employees... Note: An employees conduct is also subject to the laws of the state and the regulations of the employing agency.

11 Florida Hatch Act – Section , F.S. No officer or employee of the state, or of any county or municipality thereof, except as hereinafter exempted from provisions hereof, shall: (1)(a) Use his or her official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with an election or a nomination of office or coercing or influencing another persons vote or affecting the result thereof.

12 Florida Hatch Act – Section , F.S. The provisions of paragraph (a) shall not be construed so as to limit the political activity in a general, special, primary, bond, referendum, or other election of any kind or nature, of elected officials or candidates for public office in the state or of any county or municipality thereof.

13 Florida Hatch Act – Section , F.S. The provisions of paragraph (a) shall not be construed so as to limit the political activity in general or special elections of the officials appointed as the heads or directors of state administrative agencies, boards, commissions, or committees or of the members of state boards, commissions, or committees, whether they be salaried, nonsalaried, or reimbursed for expense. In the event of a dual capacity of any member of a state board, commission, or committee, any restrictive provisions applicable to either capacity shall apply.

14 Florida Hatch Act – Section , F.S. The provisions of paragraph (a) shall not be construed so as to limit the political activity in a general, special, primary, bond, referendum, or other election of any kind or nature of the Governor, the elected members of the Governors Cabinet, or the members of the Legislature.

15 Florida Hatch Act – Section , F.S. (1)(b) Directly or indirectly coerce or attempt to coerce, command, or advise any other officer or employee to pay, lend, or contribute any part of his or her salary, or any money, or anything else of value to any party, committee, organization, agency, or person for political purposes. Nothing in this paragraph or in any county or municipal charter or ordinance shall prohibit an employee from suggesting to another employee in a noncoercive manner that he or she may voluntarily contribute to a fund which is administered by a party, committee, organization, agency, person, labor union or other employee organization for political purposes.

16 Florida Hatch Act – Section , F.S. A candidate for reelection as the Public Defender was found to have violated Floridas Little Hatch Act by threatening employees with the loss of their jobs if they did not contribute to his campaign for re-election. (Florida Election Commission v. Jorandby, FEC Case No )

17 Florida Hatch Act – Section , F.S. (c) Directly or indirectly coerce or attempt to coerce, command, and advise any such officer or employee as to where he or she might purchase commodities or to interfere in any other way with the personal right of said officer or employee.

18 Florida Hatch Act – Section , F.S. The provisions of paragraphs (b) and (c) shall apply to all officers and employees of the state or of any county or municipality thereof, whether elected, appointed, or otherwise employed, or whether the activity shall be in connection with a primary, general, special, bond, referendum, or other election of any kind or nature.

19 Florida Hatch Act – Section , F.S. (2) An employee of the state or any political subdivision may not participate in any political campaign for an elective office while on duty. (3) Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.

20 Florida Hatch Act – Section , F.S. (4) Nothing contained in this section or in any county or municipal charter shall be deemed to prohibit any public employee from expressing his or her opinions on any candidate or issue or from participating in any political campaign during the employees off-duty hours, so long as such activities are not in conflict with the provisions of subsection (1) or s

21 Florida Elections Code Unlawful to give or promise anything of value with the intent to buy that persons vote (Section (2), F.S.) Unlawful to threaten employees to vote for any candidate or measure (Section , F.S.)

22 Florida Elections Code Prohibition not applicable when the building or any portion of it is rented for the purpose of holding a campaign fund-raiser (Section (2), F.S.) Unlawful to solicit or accept political contribution in a building owned by a government entity (Section (4), F.S.)

23 Florida Elections Code Unlawful to use the services of any state, county, municipal, or district officer or employee during working hours to further candidacy. (Section (3), F.S.)

24 Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees Misuse of Public Position – Unlawful to corruptly use or attempt to use official position or property or resource, or to perform official duties, to secure a special privilege or benefit for self or another. (Section (3), F.S.)

25 Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees Should not seek travel reimbursement from your agency for filing campaign reports. (In re William B. Harrison, DOAH Case No EC) Should not mail campaign literature to employees whose addresses were obtained from an employee roster not available to the general public. (In re Ray Pilon, Complaint No )

26 Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees Should not request subordinate employees to sign a political petition while on duty. (In re Louie L. Whitworth, Complaint ) Should not threat to discontinue patronage at a business because the owner displayed the campaign sign of an opponent in her business window. (In re Tom Ramiccio, DOAH No EC)

27 Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees Should not solicit votes for preferred candidate for tax collector from the users of the tax collector's office. (In re Teresa Gomillion, DOAH Case No EC In re Patty Lynch, DOAH Case No EC)

28 State Personnel Laws and Rules Section (4)(a), F.S. As an individual, each employee retains all rights and obligations of citizenship provided in the Constitution and laws of the state and the Constitution and laws of the United States.

29 State Personnel Laws and Rules However, no employee in the career service shall hold, or be a candidate for, public office while in the employment of the state or take any active part in a political campaign while on duty or within any period of time during which the employee is expected to perform services for which he or she receives compensation from the state.

30 State Personnel Laws and Rules However, when authorized by the agency head and approved by the department as involving no interest which conflicts or activity which interferes with state employment, an employee in the career service may be a candidate for or hold local public office.

31 Political Activities of Public Officers and Employees

32 Mark Herron February 15, 2012


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