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Bloomberg BNA: DOL Official Represented Steel Co. in Court While on Job

March 01, 2019

As Assistant Deputy Secretary of Labor, Michael Avakian represented a client in a private lawsuit against an Ironworkers local at the same time the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) were investigating criminal charges against local Ironworkers representatives. The DOL deemed Avakian’s conduct unethical.

There are strict guidelines in place with respect to how federal government attorneys can be involved in private sector litigation. “Rules are there for good reason: to ensure there is no conflict and to make sure an employee is not spending taxpayer money on their private work,” said Greg Jacob, a former DOL solicitor and partner at O’Melveny.

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