NEW YORK — Lynne Patton, the former regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, has been disciplined for violating the Hatch Act while she worked for the Trump administration.
According to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, Patton admitted to using her official role to produce a video for the 2020 Republican National Convention.
"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," the Office of Special Counsel said in a statement. "Patton wanted NYCHA residents to appear in the video to explain how their standard of living had improved under the Trump administration."
"By using information and NYCHA connections available to her solely by virtue of her HUD position, Patton improperly harnessed the authority of her federal position to assist the Trump campaign in violation of the Hatch Act," the statement continued.
She will be fined $1,000 and is barred from holding a federal job for four years.
"No length of punishment will ever be able to outlast the permanent positive trajectory upon which NYCHA is now advancing thanks to the Trump Administration and my amazing HUD team," she said in a statement to the Washington Post.
The video featured New York City Housing Authority residents, who officials say Patton convinced to appear in the video after she initially met them during her temporary stay at a housing complex in 2019 as a HUD employee.
Patton denied that the participants in the video were misled in a statement to the New York Times last year: "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."
Former president Donald Trump appointed Patton to the role in 2017 and during that time, she oversaw billions of dollars in funding for affordable housing programs in New York and New Jersey.
Patton was previously found to have violated the Hatch Act based on a series of Twitter "likes" on her official HUD account between Dec. 2017 and April 2018, as well as for posing in her HUD office for a "New York Magazine" profile in which a red hat sold on the Trump / Pence campaign website is visible.
She previously planned Eric Trump’s wedding and helped run the Eric Trump Foundation.