July 27, 2010
Brian Burnett’s campaign for Chelan County Sheriff has been validated by the U-S Office of Special Council following allegations that he violated the Federal Hatch Act. Burnett is challenging Sheriff Mike Harum in the upcoming September primary. In a news release issued today (Monday) Burnett announced that the OSC had ruled in his favor after he appealed an earlier ruling issued on July 6th that determined he was in violation of the law and ineligible to run as a candidate. The Hatch Act law prohibits federal employees from campaigning for office or supporting a political candidate while on duty as a federal employee. It also prohibits a federal employee from using his federal employment status and official authority to endorse a political candidate. Burnett says Jerry Moore, Sheriff Harum’s Chief of Administration informed the OSC that part of his salary was Federally funded, and that he worked on a SWAT drug eradication project that was Federally funded. In the fall of 2009 and early 2010, Burnett also performed 72 hours of overtime in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration DUI enforcement program which was federally funded. After appealing the July 6th decision Burnett was notified that his candidacy was validated and a determination was made that his position is funded solely through State and local funding. Burnett also wants to know the name of the person who filed the original challenge with Office of Special Council and has requested the identity through the Freedom of Information Act. Burnett has his suspicions and says he believes that “misuse of a federal statute to eliminate a competitor for the office of Sheriff is not only wrong, but unacceptable to all fair minded citizens of Chelan County.” Harum is being challenged by both Burnett and retired Deputy, Mike Hartnett.