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Casey calls Brien’s Hatch Act complaint without merit

September 27, 2012

Woonsocket firefighter Stephen Casey, who beat state Representative Jon Brien in the September 11 primary, says he thinks Brien’s charge of a Hatch Act violation is all wet.

“Having done a little bit of research on my own, I don’t think it applies to me,” Casey said in a telephone interview this afternoon. “This is a situation where Jon is trying to keep his name in the press.”

Casey says he doesn’t think Brien’s Hatch Act complaint against him is valid because:

“I’m a private on the fire department; I work there. I do what I’m told — I basically go in and do my job on a daily basis . . . . There’s no federal money under my control, and my salary is paid by the City of Woonsocket.”

Casey beat Brien by 52 votes during the primary. Brien has responded with a write-in campaign. “I think he feels slighted by the voters,” Casey said.

He asks why Brien didn’t make the charge about the Hatch Act earlier in the campaign; Brien says he learned of the issue only this Monday after speaking with Senate candidate Leonidas “Lou” Raptakis.

The US Office of Special Counsel says it’s not clear if Brien’s complaint has merit, and that it may take months to review it.

Casey says he’s not sure what impact Brien’s gripe will have on the election. “I think people may be getting tired of hearing his voice,” the firefighter says. “That’s my hope. … I’m just going to go out and visit my constituents like I’ve been doing and keep campaigning, like I’ve been doing since August, and we’ll go from there.”

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