President-elect Donald Trump is rumored to have picked billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, a campaign donor, to be his commerce secretary.
Ross, 78, became known as the “king of bankruptcy,” according to The New York Times, for buying, restructuring and then selling off industrial companies, such as steel manufacturers.
For that reason, picking Ross could become a complicated issue for Trump.
Critics describe Ross as a “vulture,” according to Politico, and his way of getting rich has reportedly come at the expense of workers’ safety, which, in one case, led to the deaths of 12 miners in Sago, West Virginia.
“He might be the second-most complicated person in the administration to vet, behind the President-elect himself,” said Norman Eisen, a Brookings Institution visiting fellow and former adviser to President Barack Obama, told Politico.
Ross, who owns a home down the street from Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, was a main stakeholder in the International Coal Group, which managed the mine where the 12 workers died.
The mine received numerous citations for worker safety violations and the roof had collapsed several times, including 20 times in 2005, reported The Nation. But in a 2006 interview after the workers' deaths, Ross said he felt his company did what it was supposed to have done.
“We were comfortable based on the assurances from our management that they felt that it was a safe situation,” Ross told ABC News at the time.