Acting director makes appointment of chief of staff official

Kirsten Sutton Mork is the next chief of staff for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the agency stated in a press release Tuesday, filling a role that was most recently held by the bureau staffer now challenging the acting director’s appointment.

Sutton Mork had been staff director of the House Financial Services Committee for Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas). According to the release by bureau Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, Sutton Mork worked for Hensarling during consideration by the committee (and later Senate-House conference committee) of the legislation setting up the CFPB in 2010, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Mulvaney, in the release, said that Sutton Mork was named deputy staff director to the committee in 2013; she became staff director in early 2017. She attended Wheaton College where she received a B.A. in communications.

The appointment of Sutton Mork was first announced Jan. 5 by Hensarling, who said Sutton Mork would be “departing the committee in the coming weeks” to serve as CFPB chief of staff.

The most recent incumbent in the CFPB’s chief of staff position was Leandra English, who in November 2017 was named CFPB deputy director by outgoing Director Richard Cordray, who resigned. As deputy director, English was positioned to become the director when Cordray left, under the Dodd-Frank law, which indicated that the deputy director becomes the director of the agency when the incumbent in that position resigns or leaves office.

However, President Donald Trump named Mulvaney (who is also director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, or OMB) to the position the evening of the day Cordray resigned, citing a 1998 law (the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, or FVRA, which gives the president the power to appoint replacements for federal leadership vacancies).

English sued, claiming her right to the seat. She was rebuffed by a federal court in her bid for a temporary restraining order, and then again by the same court on another challenge.

English is appealing that second decision.

CFPB Acting Director Announces Chief of Staff