ABC News’ Jake Tapper asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney about Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius violating the Hatch Act, at today’s press briefing. Carney responded that Sec. Sebelius had made an “inadvertent error based on extemporaneous remarks.”

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel claimed Sec. Sebelius had made “extemporaneous partisan remarks” during a speech in her official capacity earlier this year.

The Hatch Act prohibits employees (civil servants) in the executive branch of the federal government from engaging in partisan political activity.

The standard penalty for violating the Hatch Act is termination. According to OSC, any “employee who violates the Hatch Act shall be removed from their position, and funds appropriated for the position from which removed thereafter may not be used to pay the employee or individual.”

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