Officials must be held accountable for wrongdoing

You’ve seen it happen dozens of times: A government official breaks the law. He or she is severely reprimanded and forced to resign. And there the episode ends.

A Federal Election Commission lawyer has resigned after being caught breaking the very laws he was supposed to enforce.

FEC officials said the man campaigned actively for President Barack Obama in 2012 and solicited donations for him. He also took part in an Internet broadcast from an FEC facility in which he criticized Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Obviously, that last offense needs to be probed to determine whether other FEC officials were involved.

Being involved in political campaigns is illegal for federal employees, under the Hatch Act.

The offender s punishment? He was forced to resign. He had to agree not to work in any federal government job for two years.

That’s it. The FEC won t even release his name.

It is a pattern under both Democrat and Republican administrations. Get caught breaking the law and you may be forced to resign. There will be no other punishment.

No wonder wrongdoing in government is so frequent and outrageous. Yet no one seems willing to do anything about it.

Not even in Congress.