Local & Regional
Thu September 3, 2009
More Fireworks Over Fire Fighters
By John Durkee
Tulsa, OK – Below is an memo Mayor Taylor sent to City Employees:
I wanted to clarify what is and is not permitted by city employees in political campaigns as outlined by the "Hatch Act" (5 U.S.C 1502). According to information on the U.S. Office of Special Counsel website (www.osc.gov/ha_state.htm), to the extent this Act applies to municipal employees the permissible and prohibited activities as specifically outlined in the act, are as follows:
Covered state and local employees may-
run for public office in nonpartisan elections
campaign for and hold office in political clubs and organizations
actively campaign for candidates for public office in partisan and nonpartisan elections
contribute money to political organizations and attend political fundraising functions"
Covered state and local employees may not-
be candidates for public office in a partisan election
use official authority or influence to interfere with or affect the results of an election or nomination
directly or indirectly coerce contributions from subordinates in support of a political party or candidate"
Clearly, those employees who are subject to this federal law are not prohibited from exercising one of the most important constitutional rights of our democracy - freedom of speech.
Under any circumstances, personal political activities should only occur when you are on your own time and not dressed in city uniform. Oklahoma Statutes Title 11 O.S. 22-101.1; City of Tulsa Personnel Policies and Procedures, 805.
I have every confidence that city employees will conduct themselves accordingly. Thank you