By Westbrook Murphy, General Counsel, Truman Scholarship Foundation
Today’s Washington Post carried two stories about Carolyn Lerner (MI ’84) the new United States Special Counsel appointed by President Obama.
The first details how in just four months she is restoring the damaged reputation of the Office of Special Counsel in its role of protecting federal employees who become whistleblowers.
The second interviews Carolyn about changing how Hatch Act’s prohibition on partisan political activity applies to employees of state or local governments which receive federal funds. Here’s an example from the interview:
“We’ve [the Office of Special Counsel] talked about a guy who’s in a K9 unit in Pennsylvania, and because his dog is funded for federal money, couldn’t run for school board. We had to be in the position of telling this gentleman who wanted to run for school that he couldn’t because his dog was funded from federal funds. That’s ridiculous, that’s absurd.”
Carolyn also speaks to other issues, including updating the Hatch Act to deal with use of social media that did not exist when the Act was passed in 1939.