An immigration judge has received disciplinary action following a decision from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel which found the judge in violation of the Hatch Act when he promoted former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s proposal for immigration reform during her ill-fated campaign for president.
According to a report Thursday from CNN, Carmene DePaolo, who has since retired from his role at the U.S. Department of Justice, was fined $1,000, the maximum amount allowed under law. DePalo also faces a 30 month ban on federal service, though since he has already retired from federal service, that punishment will likely have no impact on the former immigration judge.
Per CNN, the Hatch Act violation occurred at an immigration hearing in March of 2016, just months away from the November election that saw the former secretary of state face off against current President Donald Trump. In that case, a person faced deportation and a decade-long ban from re-entry into the United States. DePalo called the sentence “harsh” and said that he believed that Clinton had a plan that would “change that policy,” per CNN.
According to the Thursday report, DePalo also seemed to advocate for a party switch in the Senate, stating in a public forum that if the Democratic Party was able to take control in the Senate that “there’s some hope that they can actually pass immigration legislation.”
DePalo went on to suggest that Republicans planned to “deport everybody” and were unwilling to make progress on the topic, per the CNN report.
If the Hatch Act sounds familiar, it might be because the legislation, passed in 1939, was in the news earlier this year over claims that Kellyanne Conway, special counsel to President Donald Trump, was accused of violating the act. As The Inquisitr previously reported, Conway denied accusations that she violated the 80-year-old statute. The law exists in order to prevent current public officials from using their influence to promote a particular candidate, per The Inquisitr.
The complaint against Conway was filed by a political watchdog group who said Conway violated the act in her public support of the president’s campaign for re-election. In an interview following the accusation in June, Conway claimed she didn’t understand the Hatch Act, but also insisted that she did not violate it. Her comments were made in the same interview.
According to the CNN report, the Hatch Act applies to all federal employees in addition to employees of state and local governments who work with programs or offices that receive funding from the federal government.