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Former state labor secretary Perez named GM of Esperanza Unida


MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Governor Scott Walker’s first labor secretary will become the new leader of a struggling job training group in Milwaukee.

Manny Perez has been named the general manager and top adviser to Esperanza Unida.

Perez was Walker’s first appointee as secretary of the state Workforce Development Department. But he left after just five months.

Esperanza Unida had its non-profit status restored in January, after it failed to properly file its income taxes for three straight years. A $260,000 federal tax lien was filed against the agency, and Perez says plans have been worked out to pay the money back.

The Journal Sentinel said the group had trouble paying its employees in both 2008 and 2010.

Two of the group’s workers were fired after taking complaints to the Hispanic group Voces de la Frontera – which filed allegations with the National Labor Relations Board. Esperanza ended up paying them $20,000 in back wages.