November 5, 2011
Today I received a letter from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. Last year I filed a Hatch Act Complaint against AG Buckingham for illegally using his office to support candidate Joe Camacho who was running for the position of Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives. I sent supporting documentation, which included the fact that the Office of the Attorney General received federal funding through grants.
The 3-page letter from Attorney Mariana Liverpool examines how the Office of Special Counsel determined whether or not AG Edward Buckingham violated the Hatch Act. It concludes that he indeed did violate the Hatch Act. Disappointingly, it also states that the matter will be closed without further action. From the letter:
Based on the foregoing, the evidence suggests that Mr. Buckingham violated the Hatch Act by using the authority of his office to support a partisan political candidate. However, we are closing this matter without further action. We have advised Mr. Buckingham that should he again engage in Hatch Act prohibited activity while employed in a Hatch Act covered position, we would consider such activity to be a knowing and willful violation of the law that could result in his removal from his employment.
If the governor respected the law and the people of the CNMI, he would fire AG Buckingham immediately. But he won't. If the Attorney General respected the law and the people of the CNMI, he would resign immediately. But he won't.
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel is one federal office that is professional and thorough. I appreciate that the attorney contacted me, conducted a through investigation, and sent me the findings of the case. Hatch Act violations are serious, especially when committed by the Attorney General who is the highest ranking legal authority in any state or territory. He should be enforcing and upholding the law, not breaking the law.
Attorney General Edward Buckingham should resign immediately.
Here is the letter:
Read more about election-gate at this post.
Read the Report from the Office of the Public Auditor: