Eric Trump's Wedding Planner Earns Four-Year Ban From 'Government' 'Service,' Like She Cares About Either
Pour one out for former HUD official Lynne Patton who has agreed to a four-year ban on government service and a $1,000 fine for repeated violations of the Hatch Act during her time in the Trump administration.
Patton, who got her start arranging golf tournaments at Trump courses and worked her way up to planning Eric Trump's wedding, began her tenure in the Trump administration as White House liaison to HUD, a job for which she would have been woefully unqualified if her resume on LinkedIn were true. Which it wasn't.
Patton immediately ran afoul of ethics rules by launching a purge of supposed fifth columnists disloyal to Trump, including career employees with civil service protections. This gained her promotion to a position at HUD itself, where she supervised the entire New York region, despite having exactly zero housing or government experience.
And it showed! Let's take a ride in the Wayback Machine with New York Magazine.
Using her background in philanthropy, Patton suggested raising a massive amount of private charitable dollars to help cover needs at NYCHA — at one point, according to sources, proposing a goal of $200 million. Patton told staffers that they could tap wealthy benefactors who grew up in NYCHA housing, like Whoopi Goldberg, Nas, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, having them sponsor buildings or various maintenance projects in exchange for some kind of naming rights — "the Whoopi Goldberg Gardens," if you will. She also floated adding a jar to Starbucks cash registers allowing customers to donate money to public housing, much like St. Jude's does at CVS. At one point, Russell Simmons came by the HUD headquarters and seemed amenable to the donor idea, but wanted to add private security from the Nation of Islam to keep order over the sites in his name, according to Patton. The idea didn't work at HUD, and some staffers wondered if Simmons suggested something so outrageous just to get himself off the hook from an ask from a Trump family insider.
Wheeeeeee! Can you guys believe we lived through all this shit and we don't even remember it because there were probably 50 other insane crises that same week? BTW, Patton's "background in philanthropy" included a stint as a trustee of Eric Trump's family foundation, from whence she 'splained to the Des Moines Register that it was totes cool for Poppy Trump to put charitable money to personal use.
"A lot of times Mr. Trump will give a speech somewhere or he'll raise money in some way and he asks that that entity, instead of cutting a personal check to him, cut it to his charity," Patton said. "That's money that otherwise would've been in his personal account, right?"
"So when he cuts a check from his foundation for let's say, St. Jude, it is his money," she added. "No ifs, ands or ways about it."
Anyway! Along the way Patton made frequent use of her official social media accounts to bash reporters and make comments about the election, garnering herself multiple reprimands for violating the Hatch Act's ban on partisan electioneering by government officials.
Uh, Trump @HUDgov administration official, @LynnePatton, is posting on Facebook "I honestly don't care anymore" whe… https://t.co/I5oZqZKWQQ— Avi Bueno (@Avi Bueno)1558911822.0
She even made time for a cameo in Congress as Rep. Mark Meadows's Black friend.
With her Trumpian flair for self-promotion and zeal for embarrassing New York's Democratic politicians, Patton moved into New York City public housing for a month in 2019, only returning to her Trump Plaza home in New Rochelle on weekends, and that's where the latest trouble started. According to the US Office of Special Counsel, which investigates Hatch Act violations, "Patton met residents and later leveraged one of these relationships to recruit participants to film a video that would air at the RNC. Patton wanted NYCHA residents to appear in the video to explain how their standard of living had improved under the Trump administration."
Others have described it slightly differently. Three of the four women in the video told the New York Times that Patton tricked them into appearing in the RNC video and that they did not support Trump or his policies.
In any event, the OSC concluded that "By using information and NYCHA connections available to her solely by virtue of her HUD position, Patton improperly harnessed the authority of her federal position to assist the Trump campaign in violation of the Hatch Act."
Which means she handled the situation with marginally more grace than Kellyanne Conway, who simply rolled her eyes when the OSC recommended she be fired for repeated violations of the same statute.
"Blah, blah, blah ... If you're trying to silence me through the Hatch Act, it's not going to work. Let me know when the jail sentence starts," Conway snarked two years ago.
Thank Crom these nasty awful people are gone!
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.