PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Janice Fitzsimons
Phone: (302) 577-8314
Pager: (302) 247-1132
Date: June 14, 2006
Bill introduced regarding the political activity of State Department of Justice employees
(Wilmington): Attorney General Carl C. Danberg introduced legislation today in the General Assembly which will seek to limit political activity while recognizing the legitimate free speech rights of State Department of Justice employees. This Act mirrors the restrictions placed upon federal employees by the Hatch Act to the extent practicable to ensure consistency with Delaware law. The political activities of State Department of Justice employees are of significant statewide concern. Partisan political activity of Department employees must be limited in order to preserve public confidence in the administration of justice and the enforcement of laws, and to maintain the efficiency and integrity of the Department and its employment system.
This Act will ensure that Department employees do not use their official authority or influence to improperly interfere with the political process of this State. It also will ensure that personal political activity of Department employees does not hinder the administration of justice or the enforcement of laws in the State of Delaware.
Representative Wayne Smith said, “It is imperative that we preserve the integrity of the election process and the public’s perception that election disputes are resolved by the Department of Justice in an impartial manner.”
In a statement earlier today, Senator Thurman Adams said “I applaud the Attorney General for his efforts to ensure the public’s confidence that our laws will be administered free from political interference.”
House Speaker Terry Spence said, “This legislation transcends partisan politics and allows the Attorney General’s Office to be viewed by the public as absolutely impartial, when handling election disputes.”
Attorney General Danberg said, “My office is frequently called upon to resolve election law disputes. For that reason, it is imperative that the office be beyond reproach to fulfill those duties. I am gratified for the bipartisan support from both the House and Senate chambers and by the unanimous and strong support of the Chief Deputy and the Divisions Heads in my office, for this proposal.”
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