Investigation under way of possible political violations at FAA headquarters

The FAA's regional office is on Lind Avenue in Renton.
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A Washington D.C.-based advocacy group has asked for an investigation into possible violations of the federal Hatch Act at the regional headquarters of the Federal Aviation Administration in Renton.

The Hatch Act, adopted in 1939, prohibits certain federal employees from engaging in partisan political activities.

The request was made by Cause of Action, which calls itself a "nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that uses investigative, legal, and communications tools to educate the public on how government accountability and transparency protects taxpayer interests and economic opportunity."

Cause of Action made the request this week after what it describes as whistleblowers came forward following a staff meeting May 23 at the Seattle Flight Standards Division Office at the FAA headquarters on Lind Avenue. The group was told that two FAA administrators told employees that they should vote for a Democrat because their jobs may depend on a Democratic victory in this year's presidential election.

According to Cause of Action, a deputy regional counsel at the regional FAA office is conducting an investigation into what the two administrators, John Hickey and Ray Towles, told the employees.

Cause of Action in its Sept. 5 letter asked that the federal Office of Inspector General also investigate the allegations.

The FAA issued the following statement:

"The FAA takes Hatch Act violation allegations very seriously and will cooperate fully with any review of the allegations."

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