Controversial Trump Appointee Busted for Hatch Act Violation

Lynne Patton, a regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Trump administration, was in hot water for abusing her power after staying in public housing for a month in 2019.

April 7, 2021, 6:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

U.S> Department of Housing and Urban Development

Voice of America / Wikimedia Commons

"The Office of Special Counsel on Tuesday announced a settlement agreement with former Trump Housing and Urban Development official Lynne Patton, who violated the Hatch Act by using her official role to produce a video for the 2020 Republican convention," reports Andrew Solender.

The news of the Hatch Act violation provides a coda to the controversial tenure of Patton in the Trump administration, during which the former regional administrator for New York and New Jersey made news for getting hired directly from a job planning weddings for the Eric Trump Foundation in addition to suggesting that public housing be privatized and for living in New York public housing for four weeks in a move widely derided as a publicity stunt. That stay in public housing is also connected to the video that eventually led to this settlement agreement.

As noted by Solender, Patton joins a small group of Trump administration officials to face punishment under the Hatch Act, although the administration was generally dismissive of the ethics law.

The Biden administration has pledged to uphold stricter standards regarding the Hatch Act, but newly appointed HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge has received an ethics complaint for promoting Ohio Democrats from the White House podium.

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