During an October 2021 interview, Energy Sec. and former Governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm violated the Hatch Act when she utilized her position to boost Democratic hopefuls, according to the US Office of Special Counsel (OSC).
On October 6, 2021, the OSC announced that Granholm’s violation was discovered after watchdog organization Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust (FACT) requested an investigation into Granholm’s remarks to Marie Claire magazine.
It’s fantastic news, according to Granholm. “It was good news because voting gave Dems a bare majority in the House (of Representatives),” she told The Outlet during an interview, before clarifying that she meant to use “Democrats” as a substitute for her preferred policies rather than the candidates who were seeking election.
The OSC found that Granholm’s statements had strayed into inappropriate territory, owing to her statement about the Democratic Party’s success. However, the special counsel decided against taking any action. Instead, the OSC issued a warning to Granholm, stating that she had not received adequate training on the Hatch Act before making her political remarks about Democrats. Granholm was sworn in as energy secretary in late February 2021 more than seven months before making her remarks about Democratic candidates.
The OSC, in a letter sent to FACT on June 9, informed Secretary Granholm that if she engages in prohibited political activity while working for the government, it will be considered a knowing and willful violation of the law.
The Hatch Act that was passed in 1939, prohibits government workers from engaging in “political party activity, candidate for partisan political office activities, or partisan political organization activities while on duty, or in any federal room or facility, while in official insignia or uniform, or using a government-owned or -leased vehicle.”
A Department of Energy representative informed Fox News Digital that Granholm had been warned by the OSC.
“Secretary Granholm takes her ethical responsibilities seriously,” the spokesperson stressed, according to Fox News. “And she is very focused on delivering President Joe Biden’s clean and fair energy agenda, which will help American families save money on their energy bills while also strengthening our national security.”