NASA blogger suspended for Hatch Act violation

The Office of the Special Counsel found that a Johnson Space Center employee violated the Hatch Act by writing politically oriented e-mail messages and blog postings at work.

A NASA employee has been suspended for soliciting donations and writing politically partisan blog posts and sending e-mail messages while at work, violations of the Hatch Act.Office of the Special Counsel officials said a Johnson Space Center employee promoted local and state political candidates in 2006 and 2007 through his Internet writings.The officials also found the employee solicited small campaign donations two times in 2006 through blogs.The employee has been suspended for 180 days without pay. The suspension started March 30. Special Counsel Scott Bloch said the suspension is part of an effort to crack down on Internet- and technology-based Hatch violations.“Today, modern office technology multiplies the opportunities for employees to abuse their positions and — as in this serious case — to be penalized, even removed from their job, with just a few clicks of a mouse,” Bloch said.