The White House indicated that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius would probably not be punished, after federal investigators determined she had violated the law when she campaigned earlier this year for President Obama.
Sebelius broke the law by making “extemporaneous partisan remarks” during a speech in February at a Human Rights Campaign Event in Charlotte, N.C., according to the Office of Special Counsel (OSC). She made the comments in the city that would later host the Democratic National Convention.
White House spokesman Eric Schultz explained in a statement that the administration has already taken action on the matter, though, putting Sebelius through training and making sure taxpayers were reimbursed.
“As the Office of Special Counsel has noted, these were extemporaneous remarks, the Health and Human Services Department has since reclassified the event to meet the correct standard, the U.S. Treasury has been reimbursed and Secretary Sebelius has met with ethics experts to ensure this never happens again,” Schultz said.
“This error was immediately acknowledged by the Secretary, promptly corrected and no taxpayer dollars were misused.”
He said the administration holds itself “to the highest ethical standards.”
In her North Carolina remarks that prompted the report, Sebelius urged voters to make sure Obama “continues to be president for another four years.”
The Office of Special Counsel said Sebelius’ comments violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits public officials from campaigning in an official capacity.
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