Former Philadelphia acting U.S. Attorney Laurie Magid is facing scrutiny from the Office of Special Counsel for organizing fundraisers for former Sen. Arlen Specter and Rep. Pat Meehan, R-Delaware County. That would be a no-no of mixing political and official duties under the Hatch Act, and OSC filed a formal complaint Tuesday that could cost Magid her job as a prosecutor. Meehan was himself the former U.S. Attorney for Philly (and a Specter aide). Politico's Josh Gerstein has more:
The office charged that Magid “engaged in prohibited political activity, including accepting and/or receiving partisan political contributions from subordinate employees, and using staff to help her efforts to assist a partisan political campaign.” (Read the complaint and some of Magid's e-mails here.)
The complaint alleges that Magid ran afoul of the Hatch Act while organizing fund-raisers at her home for Specter in 2008 and for Meehan the following year. Meehan was considering a gubernatorial bid in Pennsylvania, but ultimately ran for Congress instead.
Magid was interested in a judicial nomination and believed that having ties with Specter “could be helpful to her career,” the complaint says. Specter didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.
The complaint claims Magid improperly invited subordinates to the fundraisers and used official e-mail to ask office staff to produce lists of lawyers who formerly worked in the office. According to the allegations, Magid took a hand-delivered contribution in her office for the Specter event and received a donation on her office chair for the Meehan fund-raiser.
“Several of [Magid’s] subordinate employees expressed concerns that they felt pressure to attend [the Meehan] fundraiser or make a financial contribution,” the complaint says.
Meehan was Magid’s boss in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and she became acting U.S. Attorney when Meehan resigned in 2008. However, Justice Department leadership pushed her out of the acting U.S. Attorney role in May 2009, after the investigation into the fund-raisers got underway.