A man with ties to the Pinehurst area, Patrick Pizzella, was appointed acting U.S. Labor Secretary Friday by President Donald Trump. A veteran of the George W. Bush and Barrack Obama administrations, he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as deputy labor secretary in April 2018.

He takes over the Labor Department from R. Alexander Acosta, who announced his resignation Friday amidst the ongoing controversy of his handling of the sex crimes case of Financier Jeffrey Epstein during his tenure as a federal prosecutor in Florida.

According to his biography on the official Department of Labor website, he previously served as a member of the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) after being nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate in 2013. In January of 2017, President Trump designated Pizzella as acting FLRA Chairman, a position he held until December 8, 2017.

Before joining the FLRA, Pizzella was principal at Patrick Pizzella, LLC. He served as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Administration and Management at the Department of Labor from 2001 to 2009. Pizzella was designated by President George W. Bush to serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation from January of 2004 to April of 2005.

His appointment is not without controversy of its own. During his 2017 confirmation hearing, questions arose over Pizzella’s work with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff to hamper worker protections in the Northern Mariana Islands at the turn of the century. Abramoff was later convicted and sentenced to six years in prison on fraud charges in 2006.

He and his wife, MJ, own a home in Pinehurst and have been active in the local community.

He will become one of three acting cabinet members joining Acting Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Kevin McAleenan, who is currently acting Homeland Security Secretary.

Feature Photo courtesy US Department of Labor.

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Local News/Government Reporter Chris Prentice.           Sandhills_Sentinel
Contact him at [email protected] or (910) 639-9303.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email