NY sheriff violated Hatch Act by flying pro-Trump flag on summer boat parade: US agency

DM

An upstate New York sheriff received a warning from federal investigators for violating the Hatch Act by flying a “Making America Great” flag during a pro-Trump boat parade last summer. Oswego County Sheriff Don Hilton received a warning letter from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) following an investigation into a complaint that the sheriff’s office flew an altered American flag with former President Donald Trump’s image and his campaign slogan “Making America Great” during an event titled the “Trump flotilla” on Oneida Lake on Aug. 2, 2020, Syracuse.com reported. Photos published by local newspapers showed Hilton and three uniformed deputies aboard a labeled sheriff’s office Marine Patrol boat flying the pro-Trump flag. The OSC has jurisdiction to enforce the Hatch Act, a 1939 law that limits federal executive branch employees from engaging in political activities while on the job, but exempts the president and vice president from violations. Because Hilton has “duties in connection with federally funded programs,” he is “covered by the Hatch Act,” the letter said, Oswego County News Now reported.

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