WENATCHEE — Brian Burnett is still having trouble with the Hatch Act.
On Tuesday, the Chelan County sheriff’s deputy and sheriff’s candidate sent out a news release saying he had been cleared of any violations of the federal law. Then, on Thursday, he sent out another news release saying he was still being investigated.
Burnett said he was told by an employee of the Office of Special Counsel, which investigates possible Hatch Act violations, that Sheriff Mike Harum called them Tuesday and provided more information about Burnett. Harum denies making such a call.
Burnett said the additional information has prompted the Hatch Act attorneys to reopen the case against him.
The Hatch Act, which aims to keep federal government employees from participating in partisan political activities, also applies to some candidates running for partisan state and local offices. The outcome of the investigation will determine if Burnett can legally continue his campaign for sheriff.
Regardless of how additional allegations of Hatch Act violations turn out, Burnett said, he will continue to run for sheriff. If necessary, he said in a Thursday news release, he will quit his job as a deputy sheriff.
Attorneys in the Hatch Act unit said Friday that they cannot comment on cases they are investigating. They said they cannot comment on who initiated a complaint, and they cannot comment on whether a complaint exists.
Dee Riggs: 664-7147