Cordray Quietly Cleared of Potential Hatch Act Violation

November 6, 2017
In what is arguably the least surprising political news of the year, Richard Cordray is announcing his candidacy for the 2018 Democratic nomination to become the next governor of Ohio
The Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was cleared by a federal watchdog agency of potential violations of the Hatch Act for using his office to potentially position himself as a candidate for the 2018 Democratic nomination to become Ohio’s next governor.
The National Law Journal obtained a copy of a letter from Erica S. Hamrick, Deputy Chief of the Hatch Act Unit within the U.S. Office of the Special Counsel, to CFPB Director Richard Cordray that assured him that he did not break the law. Hamrick noted that “merely discussing with family or close friends the possibility of running” did not run afoul of the law, adding that her office was tasked to investigation due to complaints by unnamed sources that he was using the CFPB directorship to prepare for the Ohio gubernatorial race.
“OSC’s investigation, however, found no evidence that you have engaged in any of the types of preliminary activities directed toward candidacy that would violate the Hatch Act,” Hamrick wrote. “Accordingly, we are closing our file without further action.”
Hamrick’s letter was dated Oct. 12, but neither her office nor the CFPB sought to publicize the exchange. The National Law Journal called the matter to its readers’ attention on Friday.