The General Assembly has long been populated with public employees — police officers, firefighters, and teachers — so the Hatch Act complaint described by state Representative Jon Brien has no small significance.
Larry Berman, the spokesman for House Speaker Gordon Fox, says the House leadership believes Stephen Casey is on solid ground in rebutting Brien’s complaint.
Berman notes how two retired firefighters (Scott Guthrie and Rene Menard) and three active police officers (Roberto DaSilva, Raymond Johnston, and Ray Hull) are present in the House. (Menard and DaSilva will be gone in January after losing primaries in September.)
Berman says a number of lawmakers have worked for entities that get some federal funding, like a school district or public safety department, without having direct responsibility for that money. He says the case cited by Brien, involving a challenger to state Senate candidate Lou Raptakis, is somewhat different since the challenger is a fire administrator in Coventry.
Regarding the presence of public employees in the General Assembly, Berman says, “We believe there are no violations of the Hatch Act.”
Details of Brien’s gripe can be found here.