WASHINGTON (AP) - Two people familiar with the White House deliberations say President Barack Obama is poised to select Justice Department official Thomas Perez as the next labor secretary.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the official announcement has not yet been made.
Perez, a native of Snyder, NY, who graduated from Canisius High School, was sworn in as head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division in 2009. He had 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.
In 2009, while chief of the Civil Rights division at the Department of Justice, Perez led a lawsuit against Erie County for conditions at the Holding Center.
One conservative pundit labeled him "Obama's one-man Gestapo" for initiating a lawsuit against Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona in 2010. Arpaio first gained national attention for reinstituting prison chain gangs and forcing prison inmates to wear pink underwear.
If confirmed, Perezs would replace Hilda Solis, who resigned in January to return to her native California.
The White House declined to comment.