Allegations that former U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, currently a candidate for Los Angeles County supervisor, solicited subordinates to help raise money for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign triggered a criminal investigation of her fundraising efforts, according to interviews and a federal document related to the case.
A letter sent last year to Solis by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, an independent agency that investigates allegations of administrative violations of fundraising rules by federal officials, said it began an inquiry after receiving a complaint that Solis had solicited a donation from a Labor Department employee. According to the letter, the complaint alleged that in March 2012, Solis “left a voicemail message on a subordinate employee’s government-issued Blackberry in which you asked the employee to contribute toward and assist with organizing others to attend a fundraiser for the President’s reelection campaign.”
Solis has declined to comment on the investigation, but a spokesman reiterated Friday that she believes she has done nothing wrong.
The January 2013 letter, which was reviewed by The Times, noted that Solis had resigned from her federal position earlier that month. As a result, the office said it was closing its inquiry into possible violations of the Hatch Act, which prohibits certain political activities by federal workers and imposes administrative penalties. The letter said the administrative inquiry could be reopened if Solis takes an executive branch job in the federal government.
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