President Bush has nominated Vice President Cheney's son-in-law, a prominent Washington lawyer who represents companies in the homeland security field, to be the general counsel of the Department of Homeland Security.
Philip J. Perry, who is married to Cheney daughter Elizabeth Cheney Perry, is a partner at the Washington law office of Latham & Watkins, and has represented Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin Corp. in dealing with the department.
In Bush's first term in office, Perry was general counsel to the White House Office of Management and Budget, where he helped draft the 2002 legislation that created the Department of Homeland Security.
Earlier, Perry, of Virginia, was acting associate attorney general.
After a stint in mid-2003 with the Bush reelection campaign, Perry rejoined Latham & Watkins as a litigator and a leader of its homeland security practice. In 2003 and 2004, he was registered as a lobbyist for Lockheed Martin.
Lobby registration documents he filed with Congress state that he helped the firm secure liability protection from lawsuits prompted by terrorist attacks, under the 2002 SAFETY Act. The department granted the liability protection in June, making the firm one of only about eight whose products have been certified for coverage.
Among Perry's other clients in the last two years were private prison firm Corrections Corp. of America and hospital proprietor HCA Corp., but he did not represent them on any work with Homeland Security, the congressional filings said.
If he is confirmed, government ethics experts said, Perry would likely have to recuse himself from decisions involving his former clients for some period of time.