Associated Press reports President is poised to nominate Thomas Perez
A key figure in the negotiations leading to a federal consent decree to reform the New Orleans Police Department may be nomated to serve as the nation's next Secretary of Labor.
The Associated Press reports that President Obama is poised to select Justice Department official Thomas Perez to be the next labor secretary, according to two people familiar with the deliberation process.
Perez' nomination to the Labor Department could come this week, the people familiar with the process said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the official announcement has not yet been made. White House spokesman Matt Lehrich declined to comment.
The 51-year-old has led the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division since 2009 and previously served as Maryland's labor secretary. He is expected to have solid support from organized labor and the Hispanic community, which is eager to have Hispanic representation in Obama's cabinet.
Perez was the first Latino elected to the Montgomery County Council in Maryland, where he served from 2002 to 2006. If confirmed, he would replace Hilda Solis, who resigned in January to return to her native California.
Perez would come to the Labor Department as Obama pushes a major immigration overhaul, which could include changes in how employers hire guest workers. Labor Department officials have also taken a prominent role in supporting Obama's effort to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour.