Friday, March 23, 2012

Ethical Allegations Against NLRB Member Flynn


UPDATE:  The Wall Street Journal also has an artice on this matter, with some additional information, including the fact that Rep. Miller has referred the matter to AG Eric Holder, statements by Kirsanow that "I received no inside information whatsoever," and a note that Schaumber currently advices Mitt Romney on labor matters (neither Schaumber nor the Romney campaign would comment).]

The NLRB's IG just released a report into alleged ethical breaches by NLRB Member Flynn and found them to be meritorious.  They involve giving help and condifential information to former NLRB Member Schaumber and Kirsanow for some of their pending litigation when Flynn was Chief Counsel to Member Hayes; the IG also found that Flynn wasn't truthful during the investigation.  He also sent information to attorneys at his former firm, Crowell & Moring. You should definitely read the report, which goes through a long list of correspondence [ Download Flynn Report], but the Washington Post summarizes some of the bigger findings:

The board’s inspector general said Terence Flynn violated ethics rules by sharing confidential details on the status of pending cases and the likely votes of other members before decisions were released. A report from Inspector General David Berry also faulted Flynn for a “lack of candor” during the investigation. . . .

Flynn told attorneys representing clients before the board about pre-decisional votes, the early positions of other members, status of cases and the analysis of a pending rulemaking that was planned to streamline union elections, the report said.

In one instance, the report said, Flynn even helped an outside lawyer conduct research on how to attack a board rule that requires businesses to put up posters explaining union rights. . . .

I don't know what, if any, penalties Flynn could face--or for that matter Schaumber and Kirsanow who should've known that the assistance was improper.  The actions with Schaumber were particularly extensive.  There was less involvement with Kirsanow, but it's notable that he did not respond to the IG's requests for an interview.  In short, these are serious ethical violations and leaves a black mark on all three of these NLRB members.

Hat Tip:  Patrick Kavanagh


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Unfortunately for Mr. Flynn while he was serving as chief counsel he may be subject to 18 U.S.C. s205, which provides:

(a) Whoever, being an officer or employee of the United States in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government or in any agency of the United States, other than in the proper discharge of his official duties—
(1) acts as agent or attorney for prosecuting any claim against the United States, or receives any gratuity, or any share of or interest in any such claim, in consideration of assistance in the prosecution of such claim; or...

...shall be subject to the penalties set forth in section 216 of this title.

18 U.S.C. s.216

(a) The punishment for an offense under section 203, 204, 205, 207, 208, or 209 of this title is the following:
(1) Whoever engages in the conduct constituting the offense shall be imprisoned for not more than one year or fined in the amount set forth in this title, or both.
(2) Whoever willfully engages in the conduct constituting the offense shall be imprisoned for not more than five years or fined in the amount set forth in this title, or both.

Posted by: anonymous | Mar 24, 2012 9:55:13 AM

Or, more simply, 18 USC 641:

Whoever embezzles, steals, purloins, or knowingly converts to his use or the use of another, or without authority, sells, conveys or disposes of any record, voucher, money, or thing of value of the United States or of any department or agency thereof, or any property made or being made under contract for the United States or any department or agency thereof; or
Whoever receives, conceals, or retains the same with intent to convert it to his use or gain, knowing it to have been embezzled, stolen, purloined or converted—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; but if the value of such property in the aggregate, combining amounts from all the counts for which the defendant is convicted in a single case, does not exceed the sum of $1,000, he shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
The word “value” means face, par, or market value, or cost price, either wholesale or retail, whichever is greater.

Posted by: 102m | Mar 25, 2012 1:34:59 PM

I am shocked that all of the Right-to-Work and anti-current NLRB majority are not up arms about this potentially criminal conduct taking place at the NLRB. I just am shocked!

Posted by: Per Son | Mar 26, 2012 7:55:28 AM

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