Controversial NLRB General Counsel Nomination Vote Approaching

Now that the partial government shutdown is over, its back to business as usual. As such, the Senate will tackle the controversial nomination of Richard Griffin for general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board.

His name should sound familiar. Griffin is one of President Obama’s recess appointments to the NLRB that several federal courts ruled were invalid. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review the question whether the board member recess appointments were constitutional.

However, the legality of Griffin’s NLRB board member appointment is not why Republicans object to his nomination for the general counsel position. More troublesome, Griffin, the former general counsel of the International Union of Operating Engineers, was recently named as a defendant in a RICO lawsuit.

The Washington Free Beacon reported:

“A recent lawsuit filed in a federal court in California alleges that National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) member Richard Griffin was complicit in a scheme to cover up embezzlement at a major labor union by terminating employees who attempted to expose the effort.  The allegations appear in a lengthy complaint filed against the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE).  The lawsuit alleges numerous violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, and names Griffin, IUOE’s former general counsel, as a defendant.”

Further, Griffin’s tainted reputation makes him unfit to be the NLRB general counsel. If IUOE members could not trust Griffin to loyally represent them, how can he be trusted to fairly investigate and prosecute unfair labor practices cases that impact workers and business.