Committee probes yet another hard drive crash of former Lois Lerner FEC associate who violated law while campaigning for Obama
WASHINGTON –House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, today pressed the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on yet another hard drive crash of an employee who disparaged Republicans and campaigned for President Obama in violation of the Hatch Act, which states that federal employees should not conduct political activities during work hours.
“As a part of a settlement agreement with the [Office of Special Counsel], Ms. [April] Sands admitted to violating the Hatch Act by soliciting political contributions via Twitter, conducting political activity through her Twitter account, and participating in a political discussion ‘via webcam from an FEC conference room . . . while on duty,’” Issa and Jordan write in their letter. “The FEC [Office of Inspector General] sought to pursue criminal charges stemming from Ms. Sands’s solicitation of political contributions while on duty inside the FEC building. However, the FEC recycled Ms. Sands’s hard drive before the OIG was able to seize it, and therefore the OIG was unable to show that Ms. Sands’s solicitations and political activity were done from an FEC computer. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia thereafter declined criminal prosecution.”
According to news reports, Ms. Sands worked for former IRS official Lois Lerner when Ms. Lerner served as the FEC’s Associate General Counsel for Enforcement. It is unclear whether Ms. Sands ever communicated with Ms. Lerner after Ms. Lerner moved to the IRS; however, the Committee is aware that Ms. Lerner maintained communication with some former FEC colleagues. Ms. Lerner even apparently shared information protected by section 6103 of the tax code with the FEC.
Read the letter here.