Simpson says he’s ‘not a candidate,’ so no Hatch Act violation

The Hatch Act’s violation is a civil matter, punishable by dismissal or fines to the employing agency.

“Any state official who would break that federal law would run the risk of causing the state to lose the federal grants their agency had,” added Pigott, who was appointed U.S. attorney by President Bill Clinton.

Pigott resigned when President George W. Bush was elected and wanted his own appointment in the Jackson-based post.

At MDPS, Simpson oversees a $126 million budget, with nearly half from the federal government, according to the state Department of Finance and Administration.

Wednesday, when questioned about the Hatch Act, Simpson said, “I am not a candidate because I have not filed qualifying papers.

“I am aware of it,” he said, referring to the law, “and I have no intention of violating it.”

The 2011 Campaign Finance Guide, published by the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office, states that under the law, “you are a candidate if you have filed qualifying papers by the deadline or you have spent or received over $200.”

March 1 is the deadline to qualify. Simpson has said he will resign his Public Safety post at an unspecified time.

Simpson did not immediately respond to a later Daily Journal message asking whether his campaign has spent or received more than $200.