A note to city employees: Watch what you do with those press releases. On Feb. 9, an e-mail announcing a kickoff event for Ward 3 councilmember hopeful Robert Gordon went out to, among others, a host of District employees’ official city inboxes. At least one District Department of Transportation worker, Samira Cook, then forwarded the message to co-workers. Another department employee, who wishes to remain “behind the curtain,” turned both the original e-mail and Cook’s forward over to the District’s Office of Campaign Finance (OCF) and the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics, alleging violations of the federal Hatch Act, which restricts the political activities of District and federal officials—including sending campaign-related e-mails from a government address. “People just don’t have real knowledge of how serious a Hatch Act violation can be,” says the tipster. The OCF directed the informant to federal authorities, who did not respond by press time. Cook says she didn’t mean to give Gordon any inside help—and she didn’t attend the event. “I’m not allowed to promote [or] forward that kind of thing,” she says. “I sent it as an FYI.”—Ryan Grim

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