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Police Department Sends Out Hatch Act Reminder

District police officers have received a teletype message that lists the permitted and prohibited political activities for government employees under the Hatch Act.

The message, signed by Chief Cathy L. Lanier, explains that registering to vote and campaigning for a candidate or for a referendum are fine. Government employees can attend political rallies. But doing so in uniform is not allowed. Driving to it in a government vehicle, like a police car, is also not allowed. And don't wear a button to work.

The reminder comes after community activists and Kristopher Baumann, who heads the local Fraternal Order of Police, questioned the Hatch-ness of Council member Jack Evans's full-page campaign ad that ran in the Northwest Current last month.

Evans was pictured with Lanier, who was in uniform. Evans has said he did not violate the Hatch Act because he is exempt as a council member and has defended Lanier who did not know the picture would be used in a campaign ad.

Evans is facing a challenge from lawyer Cary Silverman for the Ward 2 council seat he has held for 17 years. The Democratic primary is Tuesday.

By Nikita R Stewart  |  September 4, 2008; 11:04 AM ET
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Clearly the Hatch Act didn't apply to Fenty's numerous council staff who sat on one of the Ward4 ANCs while working in his office. Although the ANCs are non-partisan elected offices, those who worked for Fenty did some of his bidding.

Posted by: WeNeedNewLeadership | September 4, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

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