Rep. George Miller Calls for NLRB Board Member Terence Flynn to Resign after New Evidence of Improper Disclosures Surfaces
WASHINGTON – Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) today called on Board Member Terence Flynn to resign after new evidence was uncovered by the National Labor Relations Board’s Inspector General showing that Flynn disclosed additional deliberative and nonpublic information to outside parties.
“Disclosing judges’ deliberations in pending cases to outside parties, for example, is repugnant to the American justice system. Such behavior cannot be allowed to continue,” wrote Rep. Miller, the senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee. “The Board is the only agency where workers and employers may go to have their rights under the National Labor Relations Act vindicated. The public’s faith in this agency and its fair administration of the law matters. Your continued presence at the Board rattles that faith and potentially infringes upon the due process rights of those with business before the Board. For the sake of the Board as an institution, you should resign.”
The NLRB’s Inspector General issued a supplemental report to an earlier investigation that found, among other things, that Member Flynn, when serving as a chief counsel, provided confidential information to former Board Members Peter Kirsanow and Peter Schaumber for their private benefit.
Today’s report found additional instances where Member Flynn forwarded nonpublic information to former Board Member Schaumber, who has served as a labor policy advisor for former Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. These included a draft of an NLRB decision, dissents before cases have been decided, and other information on the NLRB’s internal operations.
“The deliberative process established by the Board, including the protection of deliberative information is essential in ensuring that the parties receive due process…Mr. Flynn’s public statement that he has engaged in no wrongdoing strikes at the very heart of the Board and all but eviscerates the due process procedures that the Board has established,” the report says. “We conclude that the issues identified in this report, and those of the prior report, evidence a serious threat to the Board’s decisional due process.”
Rep. Miller’s letter to Terence Flynn calling for his resignation below:
May 2, 2012
Mr. Terence Flynn, Member
National Labor Relations Board
1099 14th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20570-0001
Dear Member Flynn:
As the Ranking Member of the House Committee with jurisdiction to oversee the effective and efficient operations of the National Labor Relations Board (“the Board”) and its fair administration and execution of the law, I respectfully request that you resign your position as a Member of the Board.
Throughout this Congress, I have made clear my concerns that the improper release of deliberative materials on matters pending before the Board could adversely affect parties’ due process rights. Today’s report from the Board’s Inspector General, containing only the latest findings of disclosures made by you to select private parties, underscores that concern. Moreover, the Inspector General’s findings leave me without confidence in your ability to successfully execute the duties for which you have been appointed. This latest report makes clear that your continued presence at the Board compromises the Board’s ability to function efficiently and effectively. As the Inspector General concludes, these issues “evidence a serious threat to the Board’s decisional due process.”
You are now the subject of two reports this year in which the Inspector General has found ethical breaches in your conduct. The findings have been referred for potential criminal violations as well. I staunchly subscribe to the principle that all persons are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. I understand that you do not deny many of the incidents cited by the Inspector General in his reports. I also understand that you have insisted that you “committed no wrongdoing” and your counsel argues that your interactions with Mr. Schaumber “were not…illegal.” Such insistence may be critical to your personal defense, to which you are entitled, but taking such a position is fundamentally incompatible with your role as a Member of the National Labor Relations Board going forward. Your colleagues at the Board and parties practicing before the Board must have confidence in your ability to protect internal deliberations from improper disclosure.
Disclosing judges’ deliberations in pending cases to outside parties, for example, is repugnant to the American justice system. Such behavior cannot be allowed to continue. The Board is the only agency where workers and employers may go to have their rights under the National Labor Relations Act vindicated. The public’s faith in this agency and its fair administration of the law matters. Your continued presence at the Board rattles that faith and potentially infringes upon the due process rights of those with business before the Board. For the sake of the Board as an institution, you should resign.
I believe your prompt resignation will allow the Board to function properly while law enforcement and others determine the ultimate disposition of these matters.
Senior Democratic Member
cc: The Honorable John Kline, Chairman, Committee on Education and the Workforce