thomas perez

Labor secretary nominee accused of cutting ‘secret deal,’ costing taxpayers up to $200M

by FOXNews.com  |  published on April 16, 2013

Labor secretary nominee Thomas Perez cut a “secret deal behind closed doors” with leaders of a Minnesota city, persuading them to drop a contentious lawsuit in exchange for the Justice Department staying out of whistleblower cases brought against the city, according to a congressional Republican report.

The “quid pro quo,” according to the report, potentially cost taxpayers as much as $200 million.

The allegations are highly unusual, though are already being disputed by congressional Democrats. Perez is not a favorite of congressional Republicans, and the charges could impact his pending confirmation hearing — scheduled for this Thursday.

The report, obtained in advance by Fox News, claimed Perez in February 2012 “manipulated” federal law as assistant attorney general and “pushed the limits of justice to make this deal happen.”

Both cases involved the city of St. Paul. The 67-page report states that the Justice Department’s decision to opt out of the whistleblower cases potentially cost taxpayers as much as $200 million — the amount the government could have won had it pursued damages in the case.

But, according to the report, the Justice Department stayed away from that case in order to get the city to drop an appeal to the Supreme Court on another matter. The department was allegedly concerned that the high court, in the course of reviewing that case, would strike down a major element of civil rights enforcement.

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