A Friday afternoon in August — the perfect time for a resignation. As first reported by Politico:
Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) is resigning from DLA Piper law firm amid a wave of negative attention his grassroots organization, Freedom Works, has drawn for helping to organize protesters at health care town hall meetings with members of Congress.
In an interview with POLITCO Armey said that he was concerned about the media scrutiny the health care protests were drawing to the firm he has been associated with since retiring from Congress.
“The firm is busy with its business, and shouldn’t be asked to take time out from their work, to defend themselves of spurious allegations,” Armey said. “No client of this firm is going to be free to mind its own business without harassment as long as I’m associated with it.”
This is the culmination of a controversy that was brewing over the past week.
It seems that Armey’s ties to Freedom Works put DLA Piper in an awkward position. From The BLT:
On Wednesday, the firm sent out an internal e-mail about the controversy to all U.S. lawyers and staff.
“Recently several media commentators have suggested that DLA Piper may be opposing health care reform. Some of the reports have gone so far as to suggest that the firm itself, or on behalf of its clients, may be supporting activities to disrupt the national debate on health care reform. All of these suggestions are entirely false. The firm has not, on its own behalf, or on the behalf of any client, directly or indirectly opposed any activities designed to disrupt the national debate about health care reform or any other public policy issues. On the contrary, DLA Piper represents clients who support enactment of effective health care reform this year and encourages responsible national debate. We have contacted news outlets to set the record straight and urge correction of the inaccurate reports.”
Presumably DLA Piper didn’t want to wind up on top of taxicabs again.
Armey leaves firm amid health care flap [Politico]
Armey Leaves DLA Piper [The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times]
Earlier: The Ethiopian Community in Washington is Hating on DLA Piper