UPDATE: 1:00 p.m. EST — President Donald Trump Thursday confirmed in a news conference that Alexander Acosta was his new nominee for labor secretary following the withdrawal of his initial choice Andrew Puzder. Acosta became first Hispanic nominee for the cabinet put forth by the president.

 

Original story:

Just one day after his initial pick for labor secretary withdrew, President Donald Trump was set to announce in a news conference Thursday that Alexander Acosta was his new nominee to leader the U.S. Department of Labor, according to multiple reports.

The former member of the National Labor Relations Board had been rumored as one of the possible replacements for Andrew Puzder, who dropped out of consideration Wednesday. It was up in the air if Puzder could secure enough votes to pass through the confirmation process. Liberal groups attacked his record as CEO of Hardee's and Carl's Jr. amid resurfaced past allegations of domestic abuse from his ex-wife, who later retracted her claims. He also admitted to employing an undocumented woman as a housekeeper.

"After careful consideration and discussions with my family, I am withdrawing my nomination for Secretary of Labor. I am honored to have been considered by President Donald Trump to lead the Department of Labor and put America's workers and businesses back on a path to sustainable prosperity," Puzder said in a statement.

Under President George W. Bush, Acosta was the assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division and also served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Acosta, 48, would be the first Hispanic nominee put forth by Trump. Latino leaders from both sides of the aisle who met with Trump in the run-up to his inauguration had raised concerns to the then-president-elect about the lack of Hispanic cabinet picks.

Now the dean of Florida International University (FIU) College of Law, Acosta is a graduate of Harvard Law School who went on to serve as a law clerk to Justice Samuel Alito, now a justice on the Supreme Court. He was the first Hispanic person to earn the role of assistant attorney general, according to his biography on the FIU website. 

During his time as the U.S. Attorney for Southern District of Florida he was involved in some high profile cases, including a tax evasion case involving UBS, a Switzerland bank. Acosta was the subject of some controversy after it was revealed his office illegally recorded conversations carried out between a defense attorney and a defendant, who was later acquitted.