Will Richard Griffin Become ‘the First Active Defendant in a RICO Suit’ to Secure Confirmation as NLRB General Counsel?

The National Right to Work Committee is now mobilizing opposition to Senate confirmation of ex-union lawyer Richard Griffin as the top attorney for the powerful National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

The track record Griffin established as a pro-forced unionism zealot during the year-and-a-half he recently spent on the NLRB itself after being illegally installed by President Obama as a “recess” appointee when the Senate was not actually in recess is sufficient cause for Right to Work proponents to oppose vigorously his confirmation as NLRB general counsel.

However, as James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation pointed out in a commentary for National Review Online yesterday, there are also very serious ethical questions about Griffin.  In fact, he would be “the first active defendant in a RICO suit” ever to secure confirmation as NLRB general counsel!

Sherk explains:

The suit stems from Griffin’s tenure as the top lawyer for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE). James McLaughlin, the Business Manager of IUOE Local 501 in Los Angeles, suspected embezzlement from the Local’s apprenticeship fund. So he investigated Dennis Lundy, the fund’s manager. He allegedly found that Lundy had spent tens of thousands in union funds for his own benefit — including (allegedly) false reimbursements that funded breast-implant surgery for his mistress.

McLaughlin confronted Lundy with the evidence and asked him to repay the money. However, Lundy had friends in high places — including Vince Giblin, general president of the IUOE. According to the suit, Giblin instructed McLaughlin to drop the investigation. When he refused, Giblin ordered him to resign. When McLaughlin refused that, Giblin threatened to put Local 501 into trusteeship and make him “the Business Manager of nothing!” Griffin allegedly served as Giblin’s go-between during these discussions, conveying his threats to McLaughlin. . . .

These allegations do not appear to bother President Obama or the Senate. The “world’s greatest deliberative body” voted Griffin out of committee without investigating them. Such nonchalance sends a disturbing message to union officers who uncover corruption: Who cares?

Why No Protections for Union Whistleblowers?