Republican Obama Appointee Accused of Passing Government Information to Private Parties
Thursday, April 05, 2012
Republican Terence F. Flynn has been on the job at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for only three months, and already President Barack Obama may be regretting his decision to appoint the Republican advisor.
Selected in January to serve on the NLRB, Flynn has been accused of leaking insider information to Mitt Romney’s top labor adviser.
The NLRB’s inspector general says Flynn violated the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch by giving details about the board’s inner workings to two Republican former members, Peter Kirsanow and Peter Schaumber.
Kirsanow now represents the National Association of Manufacturers, who could benefit from insider information. Schaumber is the co-chairman of Romney’s presidential campaign. The information Flynn passed on included lead case lists, pre-decisional votes, the identity of attorneys assigned to a case and the positions of individual NLRB members on specific cases. Considering that Flynn had previously served as chief counsel to two NLRB members (including Schaumber), it is unlikely that he was unaware of the ethics rules.
The inspector general also criticized Flynn for his “lack of candor” when questioned about his actions.
The head of the AFL-CIO has called on Romney to dismiss Schaumber, while Democratic Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa has accused Flynn of fueling recent GOP political attacks on the NLRB with his improper disclosures.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
To Learn More:
Could Obama Have Buyer’s Remorse? (by Al Kamen, Washington Post)
AFL-CIO Calls On Romney To Dismiss Labor Advisor (by Sam Hananel, Associated Press)
Inspector General Report (National Labor Relations Board Inspector General) (pdf)
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