Policy: Labor

Former labor secretary hired prestigious law firm before exiting administration

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Michal Conger,Labor

Hilda Solis, the former labor secretary who stepped down in January, hired one of the most prestigious law firms in the country during her last year in President Obama’s administration.

Solis, who made $199,700 as labor secretary, paid between $50,000 and $100,000 to Sidley Austin Law Firm in Washington, D.C. in 2012, according to financial disclosure documents.

Sidley Austin is one of D.C.’s largest and most highly rated law firms. Its practices range from from labor law to white collar. It’s not clear which services Solis hired the firm for.

Solis sparked controversy in Congress and among journalists last year when her department announced a plan to allow reporters covering the weekly embargoed release of new employment data to use only government computers in a locked room to write their stories.

Solis was subsequently summoned to a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing to testify about the change and her department’s influence over the Bureau of Labor Statistics process for releasing jobs data. Solis refused to appear before the committee, and instead sent Carl Fillichio, her senior adviser for communications at the department, to testify in her place.

 

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