Jonathan Snare, a senior advisor in the Solicitor's Office at Labor at the Department since June, 2003, will be OSHA's temporary boss following the departure of outgoing administrator John Henshaw on December 31.

Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao, one of six cabinet holdovers in the second Bush term, named Snare as deputy assistant secretary at OSHA and acting administrator.

Before coming to the Labor Department, Snare was an attorney and lobbyist in Texas, according to the Republican National Lawyers Association web site. He was involved in the legal wrangling and bitter legislative redistricting war in Texas that led to the Republicans gaining five formerly Democratic Congressional seats in the last election.

Snare was also a paid lobbyist ($10,000) for Metabolife, which marketed the dietary supplement ephedrine, according to Lobby Watch, a Texas publication. Ephedrine was banned in 2003 after the FDA had received reports of more than 155 deaths of ephedra users. According to The Washington Post, Metabolife, the nation's leading seller of ephedra products, spent more than $4 million between 1998 and 2000 in Texas to lobby against state regulations.

In other OSHA personnel moves, Kim Lazor, special assistant for outgoing OSHA chief John Henshaw, will assume a larger role in the agency’s operations. Over the last three years, Lazor has been key to OSHA’s expanding compliance assistance efforts and stakeholder outreach.

R. Davis Layne, deputy assistant secretary for OSHA, has announced that he will retire effective Dec. 31, 2004, after more than 37 years of government service. In January, he will take the reins of the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association (VPPPA) as its executive director.