GOP Lawmakers Blast Obama’s Labor Secretary Nominee for Misusing His Power

Sam Hananel, CNS News, April 15, 2013

In a blistering report, Republican lawmakers sharply criticized Labor secretary nominee Thomas Perez over what they said was a questionable deal he brokered while serving as head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

The 63-page report, issued Sunday after months of investigation, is certain to provide fodder for Republicans seeking to challenge Perez at his Senate confirmation hearing Thursday.

The GOP lawmakers accuse Perez of misusing his power last year to persuade the city of St. Paul, Minn., to withdraw a housing discrimination case before it could be heard by the Supreme Court. In exchange, the Justice Department agreed not to intervene in two whistleblower cases against St. Paul that could have won up to $200 million for taxpayers.

Perez has defended his reason for wanting St. Paul to drop its case, telling investigators that he feared an adverse ruling from the Supreme Court would jeopardize the government’s use of statistics to win housing discrimination cases. The Justice Department also says Perez got proper clearance and made the deal in the best interests of the nation.

But Republicans say the deal was dubious, that Perez misled senior officials about his intentions, and that he tried to cover up the true reason for his decision not to intervene in the whistleblower cases.

“This offer was inappropriate and potentially violated Perez’s duty of loyalty to his client, the United States,” said the report from Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, California Rep. Darrell Issa and Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte.

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Top Democrats on the House Oversight Committee issued their own report on the investigation Sunday, writing that Perez “acted professionally to advance the interests of civil rights and effectively combat the scourge of housing discrimination.”

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The report also quotes the handwritten notes from one Justice lawyer who wrote after a January 2012 conference call: “Message from Perez. When you are working on memos make sure you don’t talk about Sup. Ct. case.”

But Democrats claim Perez was up front about using the strategy and cleared it with ethics and professional responsibility officials before it was finalized. Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli told investigators it was common Justice Department practice to encourage parties not to pursue Supreme Court cases with poor fact patterns that could lead to adverse national interests.

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Federal law allows whistleblower cases alleging misuse of public funds to be brought by private parties. If they win, they can keep a percentage of the proceeds while the government gets the rest. The Justice Department intervenes in about 22 percent of federal whistleblower lawsuits, a move that can give the case a better chance of winning. The department has recovered more than $13 billion from such cases over the past four years, according to Justice Department statistics.

After the Justice Department declined to join the whistleblower cases against St. Paul, one of them was later dismissed. The second is still being litigated by a private plaintiff.

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  • The Bobster

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/obamas-nominee-for-secretary-of-illegal-alien-labor

    Obama’s Nominee for Secretary of (Illegal Alien) Labor
    By Michelle Malkin on March 12, 2013 at 10:13pm

    The Beltway is buzzing over President Obama’s likely nomination of Thomas E. Perez as the next head of the U.S. Department of Labor. But when Americans find out whom Perez has lobbied for most aggressively over the course of his extremist leftwing social justice career, they’ll be wondering which country Obama’s pick really plans to serve.

    Press accounts describe Perez, currently the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s civil rights division, as a “tireless advocate of worker and civil rights.” The son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Perez was a former special counsel for the late illegal alien amnesty champion Sen. Ted Kennedy.

    During the Clinton years, Perez worked at the Justice Department to establish a “Worker Exploitation Task Force” to enhance working conditions for … illegal alien workers. While holding down his government position, Perez volunteered for Casa de Maryland. This notorious illegal alien advocacy group is funded through a combination of taxpayer-subsidized grants (totaling $5 million in 2010 alone from Maryland and local governments) and radical liberal philanthropy, including billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Institute.

  • bigone4u

    Perez is like the illegitimate son of Reverend Wright and Bill Ayers. The guy is anti-American to the core. Hope he gets his head handed to him on a platter sooner or later, but I prefer sooner.

    • Erasmus

      EVERYONE on the left today is anti-American to the core.

  • mobilebay

    This administration must take the prize for having the most crooks running the country!

  • Jim Bob Lassiter

    Perez has run the sloppiest work (in terms of doing the real “nitty grit work” of statistical analysis as opposed to making wild ass denunciations of one law enforcement agency’s practices deaing with minorities/immigrants) whilst madly seeking to scramble for “statistics” to back up his claims)) and biggest bulllying operation in the federal government since J. Edgar Hoover..

    • Anon12

      Much rather have J. Edgar Hoover back than what we now have in our government at every level.

      • Erasmus

        Hoover at least was working for the US, albeit with a very flawed vision. The people now in power are deliberately trying to burn down the house.

  • heretic

    Perez will make the liberals proud.