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Interpretative Opinion 02-02: Conflict of Interest

March 11, 2002

The Honorable Jim Graham
Councilmember – Ward One
2853 Ontario Road, NW #505
Washington, DC 20009

Dear Councilmember Graham:

This responds to your request, by letter dated February 11, 2002, for an opinion concerning whether a DC Government contractor currently employed at the DC Department of Parks and Recreation can also be hired as a campaign fundraiser for your potential reelection campaign, in light of the Hatch Act. Specifically, you state that you would like to retain the services of Todd Mosley, a DC Government contractor who receives no benefits and does not accrue leave for his services to the District of Columbia. You further query whether you may be subject to any restrictions by the Standards of Conduct if you were to hire Todd Mosley.

Although the Office of Campaign Finance does not enforce the provisions of the Hatch Act, we note the term “employee” of the “government of the District of Columbia”, as defined by the Act, does not include “independent contractor”. Based upon your representation that Mr. Mosley is an independent contractor for the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, he is not governed by these regulations. Therefore, a review of the Hatch Act Reform Amendments of 1993 (5 U.S.C., §§ 7321-7326) which generally cover the political activities of employees of the District of Columbia Government is not deemed necessary.

For purposes of application of the Hatch Act to District employees, you are referred to the US Office of Special Counsel, 1730 M Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036-4505, which may be reached at (202) 653-7143.

With respect to your concern whether to hire Todd Mosley, a DC Government contractor who is currently employed at the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, pursuant to the Standards of Conduct, you are not restricted. At §1803.2, of the Standards of Conduct, you are prohibited from “solicit[ing] or accept[ing], either directly or through the intercession of others, any gift, …, or other like thing of value from a person who singularly or in concert with others, has, or is seeking to obtain, contractual or other business or financial relations with the DC government”. Inasmuch as you state that you will be compensating Mr. Mosley, you are not subject to these regulations.