Lynne Patton, who was appointed a regional administrator with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2017, admitted to violating Hatch Act – that prohibits some federal employees from participating in political activities.
Ms Patton admitted using her position to produce a video for Republican National Convention (RNC) last year by interviewing residents of New York City public housing about their living conditions, a claim denied by her last year.
US Office of Special Counsel made the announcement after it reached a settlement with Ms Patton and admission came as part of the settlement.
“During her approximately one-month stay, Patton met residents and later leveraged one of these relationships to recruit participants to film a video that would air at the RNC. Patton wanted NYCHA residents to appear in the video to explain how their standard of living had improved under the Trump administration,” a statement from the Office of Special Counsel read.
According to the Office of Special Counsel, she lived at several apartments of New York City Housing Authority complexes for about one month to get an understanding of people living there. She used her relationships with the tenants in the complexes as they criticised Democratic New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The video was played during the 2020 Republican National Convention without informing the participants of the video about its purpose.
She has been now barred from 48-months of federal employment and fined $1,000 under the settlement.
Last year, in a statement to the New York Times, Ms Patton denied that the participants of the video were uninformed about the purpose of the video.
“Each participated regardless of political party because they recognized the importance of having a voice on the national stage and the undeniable improvements that have transpired under this administration,” Ms Patton had said of the video in August of 2020.
Ms Patton is among the several officials of the Trump administration who were accused of Hatch Act violations during his four years in office.
Ms Patton had close ties to the Trump family for the past eight years before her appointment and previously arranged celebrity golf tournaments at the president’s various courses.