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UMWA files Freedom of Information Act request with DOL on Stickler duties

July 12, 2006

United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), seeking clarification of the duties of Richard Stickler, who has been hired as a consultant by DOL.

Stickler was nominated in September, 2005 by President Bush to head the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety but has been unable to achieve confirmation by the Senate.

"I am particularly interested in documents setting forth the terms of his appointment including its duration, his financial compensation and benefits, his job description, who he reports to and who reports to him," Roberts said in his letter. "Additionally, I would like a copy of any calender or other records showing his schedule of appointments, his expenditures, and any authority to incur expenditures on behalf of MSHA or the DOL."

Media reports have indicated that MSHA personnel are shuttling between MSHA offices in Arlington, Va. and the DOL's Washington offices to meet with Stickler on a daily basis.

In a separate statement, Roberts said, "If Mr. Stickler is involved in directing or developing policy at MSHA through this consulting role, then there is a serious problem. He has not been confirmed by the Senate and is not likely to be. He has no business being involved in critical decision-making at the agency."

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