Patrick Pizzella, the current deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), has been tapped to serve as acting secretary following the resignation on Friday of Alexander Acosta.
Acosta bowed out amid growing political pressure over how he handled a crime case against businessman Jeffrey Epstein a decade ago when he was U.S. attorney for southern Florida.
Acosta told reporters Friday that he did not want his involvement in Epstein’s controversy to overshadow the administration’s accomplishments.
“From our first meeting, you offered me the opportunity to move consequential work forward on behalf of the American workforce,” he wrote in his July 12 resignation letter to President Donald Trump. “We have millions of new jobs, fewer injuries and fatalities on the job, record low unemployment, less regulation, and new family-sustaining career opportunities for the future.”
Pizzella joined DOL as deputy secretary in April 2018. He had previously served under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama as a member of the Federal Labor Relations Authority and as DOL assistant secretary for administration and management from 2001 to 2009.
Previously, Pizzella worked at Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds as a government affairs counselor from 1998 to 2001 and director of coalitions from 1996 to 1997. From 1990 to 1995, he was director of the Office of Administration at the Federal Housing Finance Board, and from 1988 to 1989, deputy undersecretary for management at the U.S. Department of Education.
Pizzella previously held positions at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. General Services Administration.