The Republican nominee for the Upshur County Commission said Thursday that his candidacy is free and clear of any federal violations.
Troy "Buddy" Brady III said he received notice that a complaint had been filed against him, alleging his bid to become the next county commissioner was in violation of the federal Hatch Act. Brady retired from his position with the sheriff's department in January to avoid conflicts with the state's Civil Service ban on such employees running for political office.
He will face Democrat Stephen Abel in the November election.
But shortly afterward, Sheriff Virgil Miller appointed Brady to be the chief investigator for the department, which Miller said would allow Brady to finish up his outstanding cases. The position was a part-time, non-Civil Service job, Miller said.
Brady presented an opinion letter from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, the arm of the federal government charged with looking into Hatch Act violations.
It ruled that Brady's bid to become county commissioner did not violate the Hatch Act because Brady does not work in conjunction with federally funded grant programs, nor does he oversee any employees that do.
The Upshur County Sheriff's Department receives federal funding from the U.S. Department of Justice to place Prevention Resource Officers in local schools, and it receives federal funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation to cover costs associated with highway safety programs.
The Hatch Act prevented Chief Deputy Mike Kelley from continuing his bid to become the next Upshur County Sheriff. The Office of Special Counsel ruled that Kelley's candidacy did violate federal law because part of his duties include the supervision of employees receiving federal funds.
The Hatch Act, passed in 1939, restricts the political activity of federal employees. Federal employees, along with state and local employees whose salary is supplemented in any amount with federal funds or those who oversee federally funded projects, are barred from seeking office in a partisan election.
Contact John Wickline by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.