Sebelius hitting Obama campaign trail again after violation
Published September 27, 2012 FoxNews.com
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius apparently isn't taking a campaign trail time-out despite being cited for violating federal law with her politicking earlier this year.
The secretary is set to speak at Obama campaign events this weekend in New Hampshire.
But the campaign is trying to avoid the legal pitfalls that snagged Sebelius the last time around when she was accused of making political statements in her official capacity.
An Obama campaign spokesman told FoxNews.com that in New Hampshire, "she is attending in her personal capacity."
The Office of Special Counsel earlier this month determined that Sebelius broke the law when she made "extemporaneous partisan remarks" in a February speech in North Carolina. The office found she was in violation of the Hatch Act, which bars federal workers from using their official capacity to sway elections.
The White House, though, indicated Sebelius probably would not be punished over the incident -- noting the event was reclassified to meet the "correct standard" and taxpayers were reimbursed. Sebelius also met with "ethics experts to ensure this never happens again," a White House spokesman said earlier this month.
The Union Leader in New Hampshire first reported that Sebelius would be in the Granite State on Friday and Saturday for stops in several cities and towns.
According to the Leader, the campaign is stressing that she's there in her "personal capacity," and that the campaign was even asking reporters to "refrain from using her official title at the event and in related press reports, and note that we will not be taking questions concerning her official responsibilities."
Sebelius, in a letter to OSC, called her prior violation "technical and minor."
Representatives with The Catholic Association called earlier for Sebelius' resignation over the incident.
"Throughout her tenure at Health and Human Services, most of Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' actions have advanced the president's political interests," they said in a joint statement.
The last Executive Branch official to leave office following an alleged Hatch Act violation was former General Services Administration head Lurita Doan in 2008 -- though there were other controversies that preceded her resignation