A federal immigration judge who endorsed Hillary Clinton during a Mexican citizen’s deportation hearing in 2016 has been barred from working in the government 30 months as punishment for a Hatch Act violation.
The Office of Special Counsel on Tuesday announced the suspension, known as a “debarment,” of former federal immigration judge, Carmene “Zsa Zsa” DePaolo, and a $1,000 fine for saying the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee and other Democratic politicians needed to win the election. The fine is the maximum amount.
“Respondent’s actions raises the specter that this nation’s courtrooms are partisan, and that judges consider political platforms when advising litigants. The very nature of her offense politicizes the judiciary and the federal workforce and militates toward a more severe sanction,” an administrative law judge wrote on behalf of the Merit Systems Protection Board. “This conduct sends a bad message to subordinates, and possibly instils [sic] the notion that political activity is allowed at work. If a judge can say it from the bench, what stops other employees from making these statements in the office?”