National Labor Relations Board member Terence F. Flynn, a Republican, has resigned amid fallout from a May 2 Inspector General (IG) report alleging he improperly shared data on pending NLRB cases with former Chairman Peter Schaumber and others.
The controversy dates back to March, when NLRB IG David P. Berry released a preliminary report that drew similar conclusions. But Flynn repeatedly has denied any wrongdoing, and in his resignation letter to President Barack Obama and Board Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce, dated May 25, Flynn makes no mention of the allegations.
His July 24 departure will leave the five-person NLRB with three Democrats and only one Republican. Flynn has recused himself from any future board cases.
In the reports, Berry alleged, among other things, that Flynn had shared confidential information on pending cases to private management attorneys and provided Schaumber with confidential analyses prepared for board members related to the panel’s new rule governing procedures for workplace unionization elections.
Following the release of the May 2 report, some Democratic lawmakers and union leaders heightened their calls for Flynn’s resignation. “The conduct described in the reports breaches the most fundamental trust placed in a federal employee, particularly one entrusted to be an impartial adjudicator,” Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) wrote in a May 8 letter to Flynn.
But some industry officials say they believe that Flynn was not given an adequate chance to respond to the allegations. “It’s most unfortunate that Flynn was pushed into resigning under circumstances where he didn’t have full opportunity to defend himself,” says Denise Gold, associate general counsel for the Associated General Contractors. “The result is a heavy imbalance, with three members from one party and one from the other.”