OSWEGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Oswego Sheriff Don Hilton was issued a warning letter by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel for an incident in August of last year when he and members of the Oswego Sheriff’s department flew a pro-Trump flag from a sheriff’s department boat during a “Trump flotilla” on Oneida Lake.
According to Oswego County Legislature Chairman Jim Weatherup said in a news release Thursday afternoon, “We received a letter today in response to a complaint regarding County Sheriff Hilton’s participation in a Trump flotilla campaign rally,” said Chairman Weatherup. “The Office of Special Counsel has issued a warning letter to the sheriff and decided to close the matter without further action.”
The federal office was looking into a complaint the sheriff violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees and those in state and local offices that receive federal money from engaging in certain partisan political activity.
In the same release, Sheriff Hilton said he has discussed this situation at length with the legislature chairman and other legislators, “I have reassured the Chairman and other members of the Legislature that it will not occur again.”
NewsChannel 9 received numerous emails and calls from viewers questioning the appropriateness for an official law enforcement boat, with on-duty uniformed personnel on board to fly a partisan political flag and participate in such a rally.