NLRB IG: NLRB Acting General Counsel Accused of Ethical and Criminal Misconduct, Failed to Recuse Himself

September 14, 2012

WASHINGTON – Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline today issued the following statements on a National Labor Relations Board Inspector General report alleging NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon committed ethical and criminal violations when he failed to recuse himself from a case in which he had a financial stake. The IG concluded that Solomon acted personally and substantially in a matter concerning Wal-Mart and their social media policy when he had a financial interest in Wal-Mart.

“When Mr. Solomon, as a steward of taxpayer money, fails to disclose at the outset that he has a financial stake in a case he’s involved in, it calls into question his integrity and that of the agency,” said Chairman Issa.  “As a general counsel and career attorney, Mr. Solomon should know federal statute well enough to know when to recuse himself from a possible conflict of interest between his own finances and his work. Following a string of questionable decisions, including jeopardizing thousands of Boeing jobs in South Carolina at a new manufacturing facility; this is one more example of Mr. Solomon further tarnishing NLRB’s reputation.”

“Any charge of illegal action by a public official is a serious matter,” said Chairman Kline. “The IG report makes troubling allegations that acting General Counsel Solomon’s participation in a case in which he held a financial interest was both criminal and unethical.  Such behavior is unacceptable. As a public servant, Mr. Solomon has a responsibility to adhere to the highest standards of ethical conduct.  I plan to carefully review the report and assess the need for additional action in light of its findings.”

The Inspector General report can be found here.

Solomon’s response here.