Labor Department Employee Reinstated After Being Falsely Accused of Anti-Semitism

Stepped down in wake of false report

(Photo credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Department of Labor employee Leif Olson will return to his post one day after stepping down in the wake of a Bloomberg Law article that wrongfully accused him of anti-Semitism. Olson tweeted confirmation from his Twitter account Wednesday night.

"And to everyone who reached out, and especially to each of you who risked your own credibility and reputation to defend mine: Jo and I can never thank you enough. Each of you is a blessing, and we hope to bless you in return. Thank you, and thank you again," he wrote in a subsequent tweet.

Acting Labor Secretary Patrick Pizzella personally made the decision, a senior Labor Department official told the Daily Caller. "He concluded that a correction is much better than an injustice," the official said.

Olson resigned shortly after Bloomberg published an article accusing him of making anti-Semitic Facebook posts. The article included screenshots of the posts, but edited out images of subsequent comments clarifying that the posts were sarcastic.

In the posts, Olson sarcastically mocked Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan's victory over Paul Nehlen, a far-right businessman who unsuccessfully attempted to primary Ryan in 2016 and then failed in another run for office in 2018.

The Department of Labor told Bloomberg that Olson's resignation had been accepted after Bloomberg reached out about the Facebook posts.

The author of the article, reporter Benjamin Penn, publicized the story on Twitter shortly after it was published and received significant backlash.

Penn also noted that Olson has made a career advancing "advancing controversial conservative and faith-based causes in court," which he expanded on later in the article:

Olson also was known in Houston-area legal circles for his appellate work challenging the rights of same-sex couples after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled gay marriage is legal; intervening to block defrauded consumers from receiving $10 million that Target Corp. had agreed to pay in a class settlement; and urging the high court to invalidate the Obama administration’s policy giving certain illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship.

This inclusion was derided as a "bad-faith hit job" and "a shameful episode in media bias."