April 21, 2021

Tarantella Berlin

Specialists in law

Former Trump HUD official fined, barred from government employment

Patton had been the vice president of the Eric Trump Foundation and reportedly planned Eric Trump’s wedding before her appointment to a top post at HUD, where she regularly drew criticism for making political statements on the job.

She had tangled with Hatch Act complaints before. The same Office of Special Counsel reprimanded her in 2019 for using her official government Twitter account to promote political tweets and displaying a red “USA” hat sold by the Trump campaign in her office.

Earlier in 2019 she had posted to Facebook that she “honestly [didn’t] care anymore” whether she was violating the Hatch Act with her tweets.

Noah Bookbinder, president of the ethics group that brought the complaint, called the employment ban “gratifying.”

“Even in an administration marked by a callous disregard for ethics laws, Lynne Patton stood out,” Bookbinder said in an emailed statement Tuesday. “What made her behavior particularly egregious was that she not only used her position for political purposes, she misled and exploited public housing residents for political gain, showing little regard for the people she was supposed to be helping and the ethics rules she was supposed to be following.”

Patton did not immediately respond to a request for comment.