Last week, Checks and Balances Project (C&BP) submitted an official complaint with the federal government alleging violations of the 1937 Hatch Act by U.S Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
Under the Act, officials of the U.S. government must not use their authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election. Nor may they engage in political activity while on duty.
An attorney with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel was quick to respond to C&BP’s complaint alleging Secretary DeVos broke the law, saying we “will open a file to address this matter.”
In a subsequent phone call, the attorney confirmed there would be an investigation.
As we previously reported, C&BP alleges that Sec. DeVos’s series of violations began Sept. 1, 2020, when she attacked presidential candidate – and former Vice President – Joe Biden on Fox News. The Education Secretary declared that Biden’s pledge to reverse DeVos’s widely unpopular policies would be “shameful” and stated, “he’s turned his face in favor of the teachers union.” That clear political attack has no relationship to her duties as a federal education secretary.
A short time later, the U.S. Department of Education issued an email with a link to the full Fox interview. Secretary DeVos went on to tweet a link to the video from her official Twitter account that describes her as “the 11th U.S. Secretary of Education.” The Presidential election is less than two months away.
C&BP is also probing potential tax avoidance maneuvers by DeVos and her husband who flag at least one domestically operated yacht in the Cayman Islands, a common tax dodge by wealthy yacht owners.
We will keep our readers posted on updates.
Do you have information to share? Send us a note through our confidential tip line.
Scott Peterson is executive director of Checks and Balances Project, an investigative watchdog blog holding government officials, lobbyists and corporate management accountable to the public. Funding for C&BP is provided by Renew American Prosperity and individual donors.
You May Also Want to Read:
Checks and Balances Project Files Complaint Against DeVos for Violating Federal Law
Watchdog Group: DeVos Alleged Tax Avoidance Scheme Could Fund School Nurses for 263,000 Children