Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Jim Robey and the Hatch Act

Posted by David Keelan on Saturday, July 1, 2006

It has come to my attention that Mr. Livesay has told at least two people that he never signed federal grant applications for the Howard County Police Department and that in fact it was Mr. Robey who signed any such applications.

Hmmm.  I don’t know if I will ever get confirmation of that because Mr. Livesay has never answered my questions regarding the Hatch Act and his actions as Chief of Police.  I know his supporters read this blog so maybe they can ask Mr. Livesay if he will respond.  At least write the Sun and the HoCo Times in response to my letter to the editor.

I am also confused by the fact that The Baltimore Sun reported,

“According to the opinion (by the OSC), Livesay’s signature on current federal grant applications and his supervision of their implementation means he is covered by the Hatch Act.” 

Well lets play this out.  Lets assume what I have been told is true.  Mr. Livesay told my two friends (on two seperate occasions) that Mr. Robey signed those forms.

1.  Mr. Livesay would probably have been in violation of the Hatch Act since he supervised the implementation of those funds.

2.  Mr. Livesay and Mr. Robey would have both been guilty of ignorance of the provisions of the Hatch Act.  They met over the issue of whether Mr. Livesay should retire shortly after filing his candidacy on February 22nd and they both agreed he should stay on board.

2 a. Mr. Robey should have known what he was signing and told his employee what he, as his boss, was obligating him to.

2 b. Mr. Livesay should have known what his boss was obligating him too.

I spoke to an executive of a large company.  I admire the executive and the company.  I asked him, “Do I have this all wrong and am I being unfair to this guy?”

He told me this.  “I am responsible for my divisions compliance with a number of federal provisions such as Sarbanes-Oxley, Customer Proprietary Information (privacy), etc, etc….”  He said, if his division was found to be in violation of any Federal, State or Local provisions he would be responsible for it.  That didn’t mean he would be automatically fired, it would depend upon the circumstances.  That is why on a quarterly basis his staff comes in and briefs him on all compliance issues and actions that his entire division has taken to remain in compliance.  It is a pain in the @$$ but it is his responsibility and he hasn’t been burnt yet.

My own personal experience as a supervisor I had an issue in which two of my employees in the same week had “problems” with their company issued credit cards.  I had the entire department review the guidelines on company credit card use, initial every page, sign the document and had them turn them over to their managers for filing.  It was too important of a compliance issue to not take those steps.

That, in my opinion, makes a good manager and a good executive.

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