Judicial Watch has filed a lawsuit against Democratic Representative Alcee Hastings for his illegal firing of Helsinki Commission personnel. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi appointed Alcee Hastings as Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (also known as the “Helsinki Commission”), an independent federal agency established for the purpose of monitoring and encouraging compliance with the “Final Act of the Conference on Security Cooperation in Europe,” an international accord signed by participating nations in 1975 in Helsinki, Finland. There are laws governing how personnel on this commission are hired and fired. Specifically “[a]ll decisions pertaining to the hiring, firing, and fixing of pay of Commission staff personnel shall be by a majority vote of the personnel and administration committee…”
Hastings has ignored this law and fired Commission counsel Mark Milosch without a majority vote of the personnel and administration committee; hence Judicial Watch’s lawsuit. Senator Sam Brownback and Congressman Christopher Smith, Helsinki Commission members, both argued vehemently against Milosch’s firing but to no avail. This is what Judicial Watch said about Milosch’s firing in a press release:
“Hastings is trying to eliminate conservative pro-lifers from the Commission staff and is running roughshod over the law in attempting to do so,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Given Congressman Hastings’ history of corruption, it is not surprising that he would flout the law and treat the Helsinki Commission as his political plaything. We hope the courts hold him to account and protect our client’s rights under the law.”
Judicial Watch contends that, according to the law, Congressman Hastings lacks the unilateral authority to fire Mr. Milosch. Judicial Watch asks the court for injunctive and declaratory relief to prevent Mr. Milosch’s termination.
Read Judicial Watch’s request for a restraining order to stop Mr. Milosch’s termination here.