A lawyer for the Federal Election Commission has resigned after being found to have engaged in prohibited political activity to help President Obama’s reelection on government time. The Federal Election Commission is the agency charged with regulating campaign finance for the presidential campaigns and serving as a purportedly neutral federal agency. The Washington Times reports on a finding by the Office of Special Counsel about the actions of this FEC lawyer:
The employee, a lawyer whose name wasn’t divulged, solicited campaign donations for Mr. Obama and other political campaigns, and even took part in a web broadcast from an FEC facility where the employee criticized the GOP and Republican 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activity on government time or using government resources to aid the election of candidates. The most serious penalty possible for violation of the Hatch Act is loss of federal employment. Criminal charges are not available for violations of the Hatch Act.
The Washington Times did not identify the lawyer who engaged in prohibited political activity at the FEC, but PJ Media has identified the former FEC attorney as April Sands.
This Huffington Post live stream includes a lawyer named April Sands making statements which match the Washington Times description of the lawyer’s improper activity. April Sands is the name of a lawyer who worked in the General Counsel’s office of the Federal Election Commission.
PJ Media contacted the FEC press office and asked if April Sands is the lawyer who resigned after the finding of improper political activity at the FEC. The FEC official declined comment.
PJ Media also asked the FEC if April Sands is still employed as a lawyer at the FEC. Again, the official declined comment. Efforts to reach April Sands by telephone at the FEC were also unsuccessful.
I also contacted the Twitter handle contained in the Huffington Post live stream for April Sands (@reignofapril) and asked if she was still employed by the Federal Election Commission. The April Sands in the Huffington Post live stream replied by Twitter that she had no idea what I was talking about.
People familiar with the former FEC attorney April Sands confirm to PJ Media that the April Sands who participated in the Huffington Post live stream is in fact one in the same person, despite her false denials on Twitter to the contrary. Immediately after falsely denying to PJ Media any awareness of the facts in the Washington Times story, April Sands made her Twitter account private.
April Juanita Sands is a member of the Maryland Bar. Bar records list her current employer as the Federal Election Commission. Bar records also indicate she was admitted to practice in 1994 and graduated from the University of Texas law school.
Sands is the latest example of federal employees being found to have engaged in prohibited political activity to help Democrats. It illustrates a significant problem across the civil service that will be difficult to undo even in a Republican administration. Federal employees donate overwhelmingly to Democrats and view the ministerial state through an activist and ideological lens. Whether at the IRS, EPA or DOJ, partisans inside government use their power to advance a partisan agenda, and despite the resignation of Sands, few are caught and purged from the civil service.