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NLRB Reached Deal Leading to Member Resignation Amid Accusations

Republican on U.S. Labor Board Quits After Watchdog Allegations
Republican U.S. National Labor Relations Board member Terence Flynn resigned after an independent watchdog said he released non-public information, including decisions before rulings were issued. Source: NLRB

Four members of the National Labor Relations Board said they worked out an agreement that led the fifth member to resign after the agency’s watchdog said he violated ethics rules in releasing non-public information.

Terence Flynn will leave on July 24 as part of an agreement with the board. His resignation from the $155,500-a year job was announced in a May 27 statement, which said he would recuse himself from board work.

The NLRB’s inspector general said in a May 2 report that Flynn, while an employee, gave internal information, such as a draft board decision, to former agency members, including one who worked on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign last year. The AFL-CIO labor federation and two Democrats in Congress had called on Flynn to resign after the disclosures.

“We acknowledge that the events leading up to this announcement may have been the cause of some frustration among our staff” and created a distraction, Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce said today in a joint statement with the other members. The board and staff “worked tirelessly to reach a resolution acceptable to all concerned.”

Pearce said Flynn’s cases would be reassigned, along with his staff, to the other members and the board will resume deliberations and processing of cases. Flynn’s lawyer, Barry Coburn, declined to comment after providing a copy of the four-sentence May 25 resignation letter.

Senate Bypassed

The inspector general’s reports on March 19 and May 2, added to criticism of the board that mediates disputes between labor and employers. President Barack Obama in January appointed Flynn, who had been nominated a year earlier, and two Democrats when the Senate wasn’t in session, bypassing confirmation and triggering legal challenges from Republicans. Flynn was one of two Republicans on the five-member board.

Pearce said after the watchdog report this month that he took the allegations seriously and that they raised questions about ethics and trust.

Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, declined to comment on a replacement for Flynn.

“I can’t speculate on any announcement,” Carney told reporters today, saying he hadn't talked with the president.

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