Obama to nominate embattled Tom Perez for Labor secretary

by
March 18, 2013

President Obama on Monday will nominate Tom Perez to be the next Labor Department secretary, a White House official confirmed late Sunday — setting up yet another contentious confirmation battle in the Senate.

Mr. Obama’s pick comes less than a week after a scathing audit of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, which Mr. Perez runs as an assistant attorney general. The department’s inspector general said the Civil Rights division had become riven with factions, and questioned whether Mr. Perez was completely truthful in information he gave about the decision to dismiss a high-profile voter intimidation case involving the New Black Panther Party in Philadelphia.

But Mr. Perez also brings a long list of qualifications, including his more than three years in a top Justice post and, before that, ran Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
“Tom is a dedicated public servant who has spent his career fighting to keep the American dream within reach for hardworking middle-class families and those striving to get into the middle class,” said a White House official, previewing Mr. Obama’s expected announcement.

His nomination had been expected for some time and has the backing of Hispanic advocacy groups, who vowed to push for his confirmation.

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