NLRB’s Flynn Resigns
by Tula Connell
(May 27)Terence Flynn, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) member, resigned yesterday evening, effective July 24. He has immediately recused himself from all agency business and has asked that the President withdraw his nomination for Board Member of the NLRB.
The NLRB Inspector General earlier this year issued two reports describing how Flynn funneled confidential information about NLRB activities and deliberations, including attorney-client privileged information, to two former NLRB members who have worked to undermine and discredit the NLRB. One of those former members was Peter Schaumber—who co-chaired the labor policy advisory group for Mitt Romney’s campaign.
The Inspector General found additional instances when Flynn funneled confidential information to Schaumber. These included a draft of an NLRB decision, dissents before cases have been decided and other information on the NLRB’s internal operations.
According to the NLRB:
Earlier today, Chairman Pearce informed NLRB employees of the resignation and, on behalf of the entire Board, thanked them for their “hard work and commitment to excellence through even the most difficult circumstances.” He intends to issue a statement after communicating with the staff on Tuesday.
From the New York Times:
In one instance, Mr. Berry found that Mr. Flynn had secretly helped Mr. Schaumber write an opinion column that denounced an N.L.R.B. decision that favored labor unions. Mr. Berry called that action by Mr. Flynn “an abuse of his discretion.”
The Flynn case has been referred to the Justice Department for investigation and to the Federal Office of Special Counsel, which is looking into possible violations of the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from participating in partisan political activity.
Flynn was sworn in as a Board Member on Jan. 9, 2012. He joined the Board in 2003 as Chief Counsel to Schaumber, and had previously been in private practice. The letter of resignation, dated May 25, was delivered via FAX and email on May 26.
Tula Connell is managing editor for the AFL-CIO Now blog, where this post first appeared.