The National Labor Relations Board has historically been a politicized agency. After all, the members of the Board are appointed by the President and it should not be surprising that the composition of the Board is going to reflect the ideological bent of the President. As a result, the Board’s composition will tend to favor employers when its members are appointed by a Republican President, and will tend to favor employees and their labor organizations when the appointees are made by Democratic Presidents.
Regardless, a recently developing scandal is brewing at the Board that transcends the inherent political nature of the Board.
In a March 19, 2012 report, the Inspector General of the National Labor Relations disclosed that a current member of the Board, Terence Flynn, engaged in “improper conduct” while he was serving as the Chief Counsel for the Board prior to his appointment.
Specifically, it appears that Member Flynn passed along confidential NLRB information to outsiders. As if that were not bad enough, since Member Flynn at that time was a lawyer working for the Board, Flynn was allegedly passing on information to outside lawyers representing entities engaged in threatened litigation against the Board. In fact, one of the management lawyers linked to the scandal is a labor advisor to the Mitt Romney campaign.
These allegations are serious and warrant a more thorough investigation. After all, the allegations, if true, violate any ethical standard by which lawyer conduct is judged.
Imagine if your own lawyer was passing on confidential information about you to a lawyer representing someone you are suing. I think a grievance before the local Bar Association would be the least of the worries your unethical lawyer would have to face.
Truly, this matter is so beyond the pale of the traditional intra-agency political wrangling that federal authorities must investigate further.
Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co. L.P.A.