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DeLauro Calls for Secretary Scalia to Recuse Himself from Anti-Discrimination Action Against the Oracle Corporation

November 13, 2020
Press Release

Additionally, DeLauro Urges Scalia to Order the Recusal of Deputy Secretary Pizzella and Solicitor O’Scannlain

DeLauro in a letter to Secretary Scalia: “The American people need to have confidence that its law enforcement officials are making decisions based on the rule of law—not to advance the interests of a politically connected few.”

WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Chair of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, sent a letter to United States Department of Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia urging him to recuse himself from all matters related to the Department’s anti-discrimination law enforcement action against the Oracle Corporation. The letter also urges the recusal of Deputy Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella and Solicitor of Labor Kate O’Scannlain from all matters related to that Oracle's enforcement.

This letter follows DeLauro's August 24, 2020, letter to Acting Inspector General Turner on reports of political interference in the reassignment of Regional Solicitor for San Francisco Janet Herold.

In her letter, DeLauro wrote, “In September 2020, OSC made an initial determination that there were ‘reasonable grounds’ to believe that Ms. Herold’s involuntary reassignment was retaliatory and sought a stay of the reassignment. Based on my review of the evidence in this matter, I share the OSC’s assessment that Ms. Herold’s reassignment may be retaliatory, particularly because your office has yet to provide a satisfactory explanation for her transfer.”

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is currently investigating allegations by Regional Solicitor for the San Francisco Office Janet Herold that Secretary Scalia and Deputy Secretary Pizzella retaliated against her by involuntarily reassigning her because of her objections to Secretary Scalia’s improper involvement in the Oracle anti-discrimination enforcement action.

“The American people need to have confidence that its law enforcement officials are making decisions based on the rule of law—not to advance the interests of a politically connected few,” DeLauro continued. “Your recusal, along with that of the Deputy Secretary and the Solicitor of Labor, will ensure that there is no question as to the integrity of the Department’s handling of this important enforcement action.”

The full text of the letter is below. A PDF copy is available here.

Dear Secretary Scalia:

I write to urge you to recuse yourself from all matters related to the Department of Labor’s anti-discrimination law enforcement action against the Oracle Corporation. I also urge you to order the recusal of Deputy Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella and Solicitor of Labor Kate O’Scannlain from all matters related to that action.

As you know, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is currently investigating allegations by Regional Solicitor for the San Francisco Office Janet Herold that you and Deputy Secretary Pizzella retaliated against her by involuntarily reassigning her from the Office of the Solicitor to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration because of her objections to your improper involvement in the Oracle enforcement action. It has been reported that your improper involvement included communications between Oracle and you through a former legal colleague who served as a go-between, and that this former colleague called you at home to discuss Oracle’s interest in a settlement, ensuring that the communication did not appear in government logs. Solicitor of Labor O’Scannlain is also reported to have facilitated your improper involvement in the Oracle enforcement action and to have carried out the forced reassignment directed by you and Deputy Secretary Pizzella.

In September 2020, OSC made an initial determination that there were “reasonable grounds” to believe that Ms. Herold’s involuntary reassignment was retaliatory and sought a stay of the reassignment. Based on my review of the evidence in this matter, I share the OSC’s assessment that Ms. Herold’s reassignment may be retaliatory, particularly because your office has yet to provide a satisfactory explanation for her transfer.

In light of the alleged misconduct related to the Oracle enforcement action by the Department’s three highest-ranking appointees and the ongoing OSC investigation, it is imperative that the Department’s actions in the Oracle enforcement action are beyond impeachment. The American people need to have confidence that its law enforcement officials are making decisions based on the rule of law—not to advance the interests of a politically connected few.

Going forward you must refrain from any direct or indirect participation in or influence over any of the Department’s actions related to the Oracle enforcement action, including its upcoming decision regarding whether to appeal the recent recommended order from the administrative law judge. Your recusal, along with that of the Deputy Secretary and the Solicitor of Labor, will ensure that there is no question as to the integrity of the Department’s handling of this important enforcement action.

Sincerely,

 

Rosa L. DeLauro

Chair

Subcommittee on Labor,

Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies

House Committee on Appropriations