Official report: Trump labor board member violated ethics pledge
© Screenshot NLRB

A report by the National Labor Relations Board's inspector general found that a Republican board member violated an ethics pledge by weighing in on a case involving his former law firm. 

The report, obtained by Bloomberg Law, found that board member William Emanuel previously told lawmakers that he may need to remove himself from the Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI) case.

But Emanuel reportedly told the NLRB's inspector general, David Berry, that he didn't realize that his former law firm, Littler Mendelson, was representing one of the businesses in the case, according to Bloomberg Law.

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The case hinged on whether BFI, a recycling plant owner, was the joint employer of workers provided by a staffing agency, called Leadpoint Business Services. Littler Mendelson was representing Leadpoint in the case.

An ethics pledge signed by Emanuel stated that he would sit out from any cases in which his former employer or clients played a substantial role.

Emanuel said in an interview with Berry, however, that the company represented in the case by Littler Mendelson had stopped filing legal documents and was no longer a central player in the case.

Still, the inspector general said in the report that there was not sufficient evidence to show that Emanuel "intentionally lied" by making the conflicting statements, and that the board member's reaction to being told of Littler Mendelson's role in the case suggested a "genuine lack of recall."

Berry's report also said that Emanuel's statements in his interview "lack a level of credibility," according to Bloomberg Law.