Acosta, first Hispanic Trump cabinet pick

2017-02-16 22:34
Alexander Acosta talks to reporters during a news conference in Miami. (Alan Diaz, AP  File)

Alexander Acosta talks to reporters during a news conference in Miami. (Alan Diaz, AP File)

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Washington - President Donald Trump announced on Thursday he has nominated Alexander Acosta to be labour secretary, the first Hispanic chosen for his cabinet.

Acosta is a former federal prosecutor in Florida and now the dean of the law school at Florida International University. He has also served on the National Labor Relations Board and led the Justice Department's civil rights division.

Acosta was tapped after Trump's first nominee for the post, Andrew Puzder, withdrew under pressure over his business record and other past controversies in his personal life.

"I think he'll be a tremendous secretary of labour," Trump told a news conference.

A Harvard Law graduate, Acosta clerked for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, before working as a corporate attorney in Washington where he specialised in labour issues.

Acosta served a federal prosecutor Florida for nearly a decade, departing in 2009 after prosecuting high-profile cases involving former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and the Liberian torturer known as Chuckie Taylor and Colombian drug cartel members.

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