As the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor Pensions (HELP) prepares to deliberate over President Obama’s nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), inquiring minds want to know: Who is Richard Griffin?
The White House would have us all believe that Griffin, along with Sharon Block – both of whom became Board Members when the President made so-called “recess” appointments – are simply government bureaucrats doing their jobs. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit found that the appointments were unconstitutional, yet both Griffin and Block are ignoring the judicial decision and remain on the Board.
Griffin, the former general counsel to the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) has served in a leadership role in a union that has been overrun by organized crime. According to Fox News, “The rap sheet for members of the International Union of Operating Engineers reads like something out of ‘Goodfellas.’ Embezzlement. Wire fraud. Bribery. That’s just scratching the surface of crimes committed by the IUOE ranks.”
And Griffin has additional problems which call into question his character and suitability to serve on the NLRB. Earlier this year, the Washington Free Beacon reported, “According to the lawsuit filed by 10 members of Los Angeles-based IUOE Local 501, which represents workers in Southern California and Southern Nevada, Griffin participated in a conspiracy to manipulate the operation of Local 501 ‘through a pattern of racketeering activity.’ Griffin was served with the complaint and a court summons relating to the lawsuit at his Washington, D.C., home on Dec. 4, according to documents filed in court.”
A lawyer who represented a union with connections to the mob? A defendant in a racketeering and embezzlement case dealing with a cover up? This is who has been re-nominated to referee disputes between unions and businesses in the private sector? At taxpayer expense?
To better illustrate the issue, below is a list of the convicted mob bosses and foot soldiers that infiltrated the union Griffin represented. On May 16th, when the HELP Committee considers the nomination of Griffin, hopefully someone will ask: Why would the American people want you sitting on the NLRB?