NLRB Lawyer Caught in Ethics Violation

September 17, 2012

An Obama-appointed lawyer for the National Labor Relations Board intervened in a case in violation of ethics regulations, the Washington Examiner reports. The lawyer held significant stock in a company involved in the case.

Lafe Solomon, appointed by President Obama to serve as Acting General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board, violated ethics rules by intervening in a case on behalf of a company in which he owns stock, the inspector general reported.

The inspector general, concluding that Solomon’s behavior amounted to a "complete failure of the NLRB’s ethics program," announced his error after investigating his efforts to prevent a National Labor Relations Act complaint from being filed against Wal-Mart.

"We find that Mr. Solomon did in fact participate personally and substantially, as then Acting General Counsel, in the case involving Wal-Mart’s social media policy knowing that he owned Wal-Mart stock valued at $15,000.00 or more, and that the case involving Wal-Mart’s social media policy would have a direct and predictable effect on that financial interest," the IG concluded.

The report allowed that Solomon was not trying to "enrich himself," but rather hoped to keep the government from getting into a legal battle with such a major employer.