(Reuters) - Officials have launched an investigation into remarks by senior Federal Aviation Administration managers who allegedly told subordinates that Republican victories in November's election could lead to budget cuts and furloughs for FAA employees, a source with knowledge of the probe said on Monday.
A watchdog group known as Cause of Action called
last week for an investigation of the remarks, saying they could violate
the federal Hatch Act, which prevents executive branch civil servants
from engaging in partisan political activity.
The source, who asked not to be identified
because of the sensitivity of the matter, said a federal investigation
is being led by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which monitors
potential Hatch Act violations.
Cause of Action is a government accountability group led by Dan
Epstein, a former congressional aide who has led investigations
involving the community advocacy group ACORN, the National Labor
Relations Board and the Service Employees International Union.
to Cause of Action, FAA Deputy Associate Administrator for Aviation
Safety John Hickey and FAA Deputy Director of Flight Standards Field
Operations Raymond Towles told subordinates at a May 23 meeting that
their jobs could be affected by a Republican victory.
The group also quoted the officials as saying that Democratic victories would not affect agency jobs