MOUNT VERNON CITY COUNCILMAN STEVEN HORTON
On Wednesday January 13, 2010 at the City Council meeting, a Mount Vernon resident brought it to the City Council’s attention the Councilman Steve Horton was in direct violation of Federal law. Councilman Steve Horton is allegedly in violation of The Hatch Act of 1939. The main provision of the Hatch Act is to prevent federal employees (civil servants) and certain state and local employees from engaging in partisan political activity. Mount Vernon City Council members referred the complaint of Horton's alleged illegal federal law violations to their legal counsel for appropriate action.
Councilman Steve Horton is the Executive Director of the New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority, an agency that receives federal grants and funds from The Department of Housing and Urban Renewal. Steve Horton’s latest violation of the Hatch Act of 1939 was in 2007 when he was a running for re-election as councilperson in Mount Vernon. Horton was also the running mate of Mayor Clinton Young and Corporation Counsel Loretta Hottinger.
Councilman Horton apparently does not bother to read federal statutes or simply just doesn’t care. Horton’s alleged illegal political activities have gone unchallenged for such a long period of time that his nefarious behavior has trickled down to his younger brother Terrence. Terrence Horton is the embattled DPW Commissioner that has came under fire for splurging taxpayer funds beautifying sidewalks immediately surrounding his properties.
5 U.S.C § 1502 of The United States Code specifically states:
(a) A State or local officer or employee may not -
(1) use his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election or a nomination for office;
(2) directly or indirectly coerce, attempt to coerce, command, or advise a State or local officer or employee to pay, lend, or contribute anything of value to a party, committee, organization, agency, or person for political purposes; or
(3) be a candidate for elective office.
A complaint has since been filed with The United States Office of Special Counsel to determine if Councilman Horton is indeed in violation of the Hatch Act of 1939. After investigating an alleged Hatch Act violation, OSC may seek disciplinary action against an employee before the Merit Systems Protection Board. When violations are not sufficiently egregious to warrant prosecution, OSC may issue a warning letter to the employee involved.
Steve Horton has violated Federal law on more than one occasion. Every time that he decided to run for City Council while still employed as Executive Director of The New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority, Horton was in violation of Federal law.
Mount Vernon Exposed has received notification that a formal complaint was filed with The United States Office of Special Counsel and that an attorney has been assigned to investigate the complaint.
If indeed it is determined that Councilman Horton has violated Federal law, the City of Mount Vernon could be put at a serious disadvantage as every bill and resolution voted on by Horton could be declared null and void especially if his vote was the deciding vote in those instances.