Biden administration Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge is believed to have been caught violating the Hatch Act on Thursday, according to The Washington Examiner.
Fudge, formerly a U.S. congresswoman from the state of Ohio, interacted with a question being brought by a reporter about the two Democrats that could replace retiring Sen. Rob Portman (D-OH) in 2022.
“I have two friends that are thinking about it,” she said from the podium.”Tim Ryan, of course, is thinking about it. I understand Nan Whaley is thinking about it.
“I mean, I think we’re going to put a good person in that race no matter who we choose, but they’re both friends. I think we have a good shot at it. I know people have written off Ohio. I haven’t written off Ohio. I believe we can win the Senate race.”
Fudge was referencing a U.S. congressman, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), and the mayor of Dayton Nan Whaley as potential future senators.
However, under the Hatch Act, members of the executive branch are restricted from being involved in partisan political activity while functioning in their professional capacity, with exceptions made for the president and vice president.
“When I was discussing getting relief to the American People and the American Rescue Plan from the briefing room on Thursday, I answered a question from a reporter related to Ohio politics,” Fudge said in a statement shared with the Washington Examiner.
“I acknowledge that I should have stuck with my first instinct and not answered the question. I take these things seriously and I want to assure the American people that I am focused on meeting the needs of our country.”
Cleveland.com reported that the punishment for violations of the Hatch Act by federal employees includes removal from federal service, reduction in pay, disbarment from federal employment for a set time, and other possible punishments.