Cause of Action released documents today revealing a potential Hatch Act violation at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) involving John J. Hickey, deputy associate administrator for aviation safety at the FAA, and Raymond Towles, deputy director of flight standards field operations. At a May 23, 2012 staff meeting, Hickey told subordinates that “if the Republicans win office [their] jobs may be effected [sic]…if the Democrats win office then [their] jobs would not be effected [sic].” Additionally, Hickey and Towles held mandatory meetings with employees at other regional FAA offices, where similar comments may have been repeated.
In light of these allegations, Cause of Action sent a request for investigation to Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Transportation Calvin L. Scovel III, urging “a swift investigation, not only into whether the comments made by Mr. Hickey and Mr. Towles at the Seattle FSDO violated the Hatch Act, but also whether their comments violated any other federal laws, as well as if they engaged in any other activities in violation of the Hatch Act or other applicable law.”


The documents related to this investigation:

Exhibit 1 (2)

Exhibit 2 2_Redacted

Exhibit 3 1_Redacted



  1. George Parrish says

    I am a retired FAA inspector. These guys control the travel budget and while FAA inspector’s are not given the money to travel to do their jobs, upper management travel all over the country getting miles, points and comp time “visiting” the offices…apparently they can’t use Skype, Go-to-meeting, etc. Inspectors are required to travel via “Enroute Inspections” which is a free ride in the cockpit of air carriers to save travel money and put in long days to return home to avoid overnight stays and save more travel money. The public is required to wait for services (check rides, required inspections, certifications, etc.) due to “Lack of resources”


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  3. […] the meeting remarked that Hickey’s comments may have been construed as political pressure. In one email, unedited, the  employee said,“I would not be able to quote Mr. Hickey exact words, but what I […]