On the record: Feds' notice to Gualtieri on Hatch Act
Below is the federal notice to Republican Bob Gualtieri that he's violating the Hatch Act while running for sheriff.
From today's developing story:
LARGO — Federal lawyers have accused Pinellas County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Bob Gualtieri of breaking the law by running for sheriff while he's employed by an agency that receives federal funding.
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel gave Gualtieri until Sept. 9 to either resign or drop out of the race. Gualtieri said he'll do neither, and will fight any attempt to oust him. If the special counsel's office pursues a case, he could be removed from his job.
Gualtieri is accused of violating the U.S. Hatch Act, which bars employees of the executive branch of government from engaging in many political activities, including running for a partisan office, if they oversee federal funding.
Gualtieri said the "arcane" law doesn't apply to him and contends the sheriff's office is an independent agency, not part of the executive branch. He said he has court cases in Florida and other states to back him up.
"You've got what I think is an over-reaching federal act," Gualtieri said, calling the accusations politically motivated. "This is not something that should affect the race. This is not something that should be made more than it is."