Responding to a new report from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel indicating she broke the law, the White House has announced pro-abortion HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will not be punished for violating the Hatch Act.
Earlier this week, President Barack Obama was notified that Sebelius broke the law when she advocated for the election of a candidate during a speech at a pro-abortion group’s event. Sebelius violated the Hatch Act, which prohibited federal employees from officially supporting the election or defeat of a candidate.
The report, according to ABC, indicates Sebelius broke the law when she appeared as the Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker at a February 25, 2012 event sponsored by the pro-abortion group Human Rights Campaign in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The event was billed as official travel, and she appeared at the event in an official capacity, but in her remarks – which departed from her official text – she advocated for the election of Lt. Governor Walter Dalton in his primary and general election race for governor, and for the re-election of President Obama, saying, “one of the imperatives is to make sure that we not only come together here in Charlotte to present the nomination to the president, but we make sure that in November he continues to be president for another four years.”
After media inquiries following those remarks, the Department of Health and Human Services “retroactively reclassified the event as political,” the OSC report states,and reimbursed the federal government for the costs of her travel.
When asked about her remarks in an interview with OSC investigators, the report says Sebelius “expressed regret for the statements” regarding Dalton “since there were ‘other primary opponents who were close by.’” She said her “‘shout out’ came across ‘as an endorsement.’” She allowed that her comments about President Obama were “a mistake” and an example of her again going “off script.” “I clearly made a mistake,” Sebelius said. “I was not intending to use an official capacity to do a political event.”
Despite the violation, the report did not suggest the Obama administration take any action against the pro-abortion HHS secretary.
According to Fox News, White House spokesman Eric Schultz explained in a statement what Sebelius will be put through additional training but will not be punished.
“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.”
Following the news, Maureen Ferguson and Ashley McGuire of The Catholic Association told LifeNews they are calling for the resignation of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
“Throughout her tenure at Health and Human Services, most of Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ actions have advanced the President’s political interests,” they said. “We already know she is willing to violate the First Amendment rights of Americans for political purposes, so why should we be surprised when she bends other laws to score political points? In violating the Hatch Act, Secretary Sebelius has made it clear that her concern with the reelection of President Obama supersedes her professional integrity, and she cannot be trusted to implement ObamaCare given her partisan political nature.”
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They added: “Kathleen Sebelius should resign; it is unfair for her to oversee a new entitlement program that impacts 1/7th of the American economy when she is unable to adhere to federal law.”
Previously, pro-life advocates exposed the role Sebelius had in a document shredding scandal that saw her administration’s Attorney General shred documents important to a case concerning Planned Parenthood.