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Cummings Seeks Transcribed Interviews of Former NLRB Board Members

Mar 28, 2012
Press Release
IG Concluded That Schaumber and Kirsanow Obtained Insider Information

Washington DC—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to Chairman Darrell Issa requesting that the Committee conduct transcribed interviews of two former members of the National Labor Relations Board, Peter Schaumber and Peter Kirsanow, who obtained insider information from a current Board member, Terrance Flynn.

According to a recent investigation by the Board’s Inspector General, Schaumber and Kirsanow obtained “deliberative, pre-decisional information” that was considered “the most confidential of Agency information,” and then used it for private gain.  Specifically, the Inspector General concluded:

[T]he improper disclosure of information to former Members Kirsanow and Schaumber amounted to a conversion of the information for the private benefit of former Member Kirsanow and his client, the National Association of Manufacturers, and former Member Schaumber’s labor relations consulting and/or legal practice.

Cummings is seeking transcribed interviews of the former Board members because the Inspector General’s investigation focused predominantly on the conduct of the current Board Member, Flynn.

“In this case, the IG identified serious and potentially criminal conduct, but he was unable to interview the former Board Members who benefitted from receiving this inside information,” said Cummings.  “Given our Committee’s history of extensive oversight of the NLRB, I am seeking transcribed interviews of these former officials to determine the extent to which they may have used this information for their own private benefit or to advance their clients’ business interests.”

In calling for the interviews, Cummings cited Issa’s aggressive investigation last year of the NLRB’s decision to file a complaint against Boeing for allegedly discriminating against workers in Washington State.  During that investigation, Issa sent broad requests for documents, held a Committee hearing with an NLRB witness, and issued a subpoena compelling the production of tens of thousands of sensitive internal documents.

In addition to requesting the interviews, Cummings’ letter also asked Issa to send document requests to the former Board Members.

The Inspector General singled out Schaumber for particular criticism, concluding:  “The improper disclosures of information to former Member Schaumber were particularly detrimental to the Board’s deliberative process in that they involved the positions of Board Members and staff prior to the public announcement of Board decisions and disclosure of the type of information that could have a chilling effect on the operation of the Board and may prejudice the due process rights of the parties in pending and future cases.”

Cummings also sent a separate letter to the Inspector General requesting a briefing and copies of all documents obtained during the investigation.

112th Congress