Leslie Kiernan Quoted by Bloomberg BNA on Ethics Plan for Labor Secretary Nominee

Akin Gump litigation partner Leslie Kiernan has been quoted in the Pension & Benefits Daily article “Puzder Ethics Plan Permits a Pro-Restaurant Labor Department” regarding potential conflicts of interest for President Trump’s nominee for Labor Secretary.

Andrew Puzder, the article, says, has cleared his first ethics hurdle, but some perceived conflicts remain over his relationship with the restaurant industry. Puzder is currently the CEO of CKE Restaurants Inc., the parent company of the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. brands.

With Puzder planning to give up his ownership stake in CKE and recuse himself from any government involvement in CKE or its related businesses, Kiernan, a Deputy White House Counsel to former President Barack Obama, said, “Any matters that would otherwise come to the Secretary that he is recused from will be handled by a different Labor official such as the Deputy Secretary.”

Kiernan continued, “I assume that the Department of Labor ethics officials in consultation with OGE [Office of Government Ethics] determined that these recusals were workable, likely because the matters don't typically reach the Secretary or because the duties could reasonably be performed by others at Labor.”