Calls for Investigating Obama Appointee Arise

A national labor watchdog says the federal government’s top labor arbiter should launch an inquiry into allegations that an Obama appointee leaked the decision to vacate a ruling to labor lawyers ahead of its official release.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute sent a letter to the National Labor Relations Board, which oversees labor disputes and union elections, asking the agency to investigate boardmember Mark Gaston Pearce for violating federal ethics rules by disclosing private board deliberations. On Feb. 25, Pearce told a gathering of attorneys at a conference held in Puerto Rico that the board planned on vacating its Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors decision, which overturned an Obama-era ruling that held parent companies responsible for labor violations committed by subcontractors and franchisees. The agency did not announce the decision until Feb. 26.

CEI, a pro-free market think tank, says the agency must investigate whether Pearce violated agency rules designed to protect internal proceedings. NLRB guidelines say “no present or former employee or specially designated agent of the Agency will produce or present any files, documents, reports, memoranda, or records of the Board or of the General Counsel … without the written consent of the Board or the Chairman of the Board,” and it remains unclear whether Pearce obtained permission before he disclosed the decision to vacate the Hy-Brand ruling.

“To protect the integrity of Board proceedings in the ongoing Hy-Brand case, an investigation is required to understand the conditions, and if any violations occurred, surrounding Board member Pearce’s public disclosure of Board internal deliberations,” CEI said in its letter.

Read more at the Washington Free Beacon.