A Republican member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) who was recently given a recess appointment by President Barack Obama leaked internal information to two former members of the board who are now working in the private sector, according to an Inspector General report released Friday.
NLRB Inspector General David Berry said in the report, released by Rep. George Miller (D-CA), the ranking member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, that Terence Flynn gave two former members of the board information on the status of pending cases and information about how members were expected to vote. Flynn began working at the NLRB in 2004, was nominated to the board by Obama in Jan. 2011 and was given a recess appointment in Jan. 2012.The IG report found that Flynn “knew, or should have know, that he had a duty to maintain the confidence of the information that he received in the performance of his official duties.” It also criticized him for a lack of candor about the messages after the IG probe began.
Flynn allegedly gave information to Peter Kirsanow, outside counsel for the National Association of Manufacturers and Peter Schaumber, who serves as co-chairman for Mitt Romney’s labor advisory team. Kirsanow told the Wall Street Journal that he “received no inside information whatsoever.” Schaumber didn’t respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.
Rep. John Kline (R-MN), chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, said in a statement that the report demonstrates that President Obama shouldn’t have made recess appointments to the board despite Republican opposition.
“Three individuals now sit on the National Labor Relations Board, despite never participating in a public hearing, and in some cases, sidestepping the traditional confirmation process altogether,” Kline said. “The Senate’s vetting process provides an important forum to raise and address allegations of misconduct before someone is elevated to a position of public trust. Both President Obama and Senate Democrats allowed partisan politics to obstruct the public’s right to examine the backgrounds of these individuals. This report illustrates the vital importance of the constitutional confirmation process.”
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is calling on Flynn to resign.
“Even for an agency that has at times been highly politicized, these unethical practices are unprecedented and indefensible. NLRB member Flynn should resign immediately. The Department of Justice should quickly investigate and bring criminal charges if violations are found,” Trumka said in a statement.