Former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis Solicited Subordinate's Help for OFA Fundraiser
Former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, who is now running for Los Angeles County supervisor, left a voicemail message in 2012 asking a subordinate to help with a fundraiser to support President Obama's reelection. Rep. Darrell Issa released an audio recording of the voicemail today.
Hi—this is Hilda Solis calling, um, just calling you
off-the-record here—Wanted to ask you if you could, um, help us get
folks organized to come to a fundraiser that we’re doing for Organizing
for America for Obama campaign on Friday at La Fonda at 6 p.m. Steven
Smith, an attorney, and his staff are helping us put this together. There are a
lot of folks that we know that are coming but wanted to ask you if you
might help contribute or get other folks to help out. I would encourage
you to call this number, [name]–that’s his assistant– at [phone
number] and you can call [the attorney] yourself who’s a good friend, an
attorney, good friend of mine, at [phone number]. And it’s for a Friday
event at La Fonda [inaudible] we’re just trying to raise money to show
that we have support here in Los Angeles. Thank you. Bye.
Issa's Oversight Committee referred to the tape as a "violation of the Hatch Act." The Hatch Act prevents government officials from engaging in partisan political activity on official time. The message was left in March 2012, while Solis was still Labor Secretary, on a phone issued to her subordinate by the government.
The LA Times reports that the voicemail became the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. That office referred the case to the Department of Justice where it was further investigated by the FBI. The LA Times also reports that Solis had a meeting with the FBI in November 2012. That was just two months before Solis announced her resignation as Secretary of Labor.
Solis's spokesperson told the LA Times that she does not believe "she has done anything illegal or improper." The FBI refused to comment about the status of the investigation into Solis' activities. White House spokesman Josh Earnest did confirm today that there is an ongoing investigation into the matter.