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-By Warner Todd Huston
President Obama is seeking to replace his Secretary of Labor and word is he’s found a leading candidate in one Thomas Perez, currently at the Department of Justice. So what of this fellow? He’s known lately for using the DOJ to push political policies instead of any justice-based policies.
Mr. Perez, 51, has not been officially nominated, but the media is reporting that Perez is Obama’s pick. The administration is also refusing to comment on the story.
Mr. Perez was the first Latino elected to the Montgomery County Council in Maryland serving there from 2002 to 2008.
He then moved on to the Department of Justice ostensibly serving in the Civil Rights Division starting in 2009.
Perez was a principal in attempting to eliminate voter ID laws in the various states. But he is also controversial for using his position to push political policies as opposed to strictly justice related ones.
His most controversial action concerned a backroom, quid pro quo deal he brokered with the city of St. Paul, Minnesota, so that he could protect a minority program he favored. It was a deal that his own DOJ lawyers were against and a deal that cost the U.S. government some $180 million in returned, misspent federal funds.
In September of 2012, Perez brokered a deal with St. Paul for them to drop a lawsuit that was headed for the U.S. Supreme Court. Court watcher felt that the case St. Paul was involved in might have damaged a minorities-centric program that Perez and the Obama administration favored.
In exchange for for the city backing out of the suit, Perez dropped his department’s case against the city for abusing federal funds. The effort could have returned some $180 million in improperly spent federal funds to the U.S. treasury.
Senator Chuck Grassley addressed this disgusting quid pro quo in a letter to the DOJ in September of last year.
“We were shocked to learn during this briefing and in subsequent document examination that Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez, over the objections of career Justice Department attorneys, enticed the City to drop its lawsuit that Mr. Perez did not want decided by the Supreme Court. This quid pro quo arrangement potentially cost U.S. taxpayers over $180 million,” the letter reads.