Biden Admin Issues Official Warning To NY Sheriff For Flying Trump Flag In Boat Parade

An upstate New York sheriff just got issued a warning from federal investigators for violating the Hatch Act for showing support for Trump by flying a “Making America Great” flag during a pro-Trump boat parade last August.

Oswego County Sheriff Don Hilton received an official warning letter from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) over the incident. An investigation was conducted after someone complained following an event titled the “Trump flotilla” on Oneida Lake.

“Because you used an official agency resource to promote a presidential candidate, thus giving the impression that the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office endorsed that candidate, OSC determined that you violated the Hatch Act’s prohibition against using your official authority to affect an election,” Erica S. Hamrick, a deputy chief in the OSC’s Hatch Act Unit, wrote in the letter to Hilton.

“Please be advised that if you engage in any future prohibited political activity while employed in a Hatch Act-covered position, OSC would consider such activity to be a willful and knowing violation of the law that could result in disciplinary action,” Hamrick wrote.

“I have reassured the chairman and other members of the Legislature that it will not occur again,” Hilton said in a statement released by the county last week.

Hilton said he was providing security on Oneida Lake during the Trump Flotilla event. He said a boat full of Trump supporters gave him the flag.

“I did this to show support for the event participants and for our president, who has supported law enforcement at a time when many groups are unjustly vilifying our profession,” Hilton said. “To do so was my decision only, not my deputies’, and I take full and sole responsibility for it.”


The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has issued a warning letter to Oswego County Sheriff Don Hilton after investigating a complaint that the department flew a Trump flag from a government-owned boat last summer, according to Oswego County Legislature Chairman Jim Weatherup.

The federal office investigated a complaint that the flag flying violated the Hatch Act, which forbids using taxpayer time and money to advocate for a politician. The law specifically bans the display of “campaign materials or items” on taxpayer time or resources.


The county’s top legislator, Republican James Weatherup, said Monday that the Trump flag violated county policy by flying a political flag using taxpayer resources on taxpayer time.

“I have spoken to the Sheriff, and expressed our position about our flag policy, and our desire to not see this type of display in the future from his office (or any other) on taxpayer time or taxpayer equipment,” Weatherup said Monday. “I am confident that we will not see this type of action in the future.”

Weatherup did not respond Tuesday to inquiries about the sheriff’s presence on the boat.

The county’s top Democratic legislator, Tom Drumm, who represents parts of the city of Oswego, said that county officials have been mum on Hilton’s presence aboard the boat.

“It certainly looks like the sheriff,” Drumm said, adding that the sheriff needed to acknowledge that he’d crossed a line by flying the campaign flag. “To me, it’s a slap in the face to the taxpayers.”

Drumm said he’s had no problems with the sheriff — who’s been on the job for less than two years — and said they’ve worked together on a limited basis in securing federal funding for county initiatives. He called their collaboration “fine and supportive.”

Author: Gary Fenster

Source: Maga Conservatives: Biden Admin Issues Official Warning To NY Sheriff For Flying Trump Flag In Boat Parade

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