Trump then appointed Mulvaney under a different law, the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998. English sued, saying she was lawfully entitled to the position. A federal judge ruled in Mulvaney's favor last week.
English's attorney indicated she would seek a preliminary injunction. A conference is scheduled Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for English's attorney, Deepak Gupta, and Justice Department lawyers to work out a schedule for legal arguments.
English has been at the bureau's headquarters "from time to time" and also has been working from another bureau office a few blocks away, Mulvaney said. He has not met with her yet and doesn't expect to.
"It's always a challenge when you're in a workplace with somebody who is suing ... to sort of chat around the water cooler, so I have attempted to correspond with her via email, which I believe to be the appropriate manner," Mulvaney said.
He said he's sent English about half a dozen emails on two topics but has not received any replies.
One topic involved asking her to "please cease holding yourself out as acting director," Mulvaney said. As recently as Thursday, English was sending emails through the bureau "saying she was acting director and actually giving people instructions which were occasionally counter to mine," he said.
Those emails were confusing to employees and put them in a difficult situation, Mulvaney said. He also said he emailed her asking her to perform some deputy director duties.
Mulvaney said he was "absolutely not" considering firing English.
"We need everybody doing their jobs," he said.
Gupta did not respond Monday to a request for comment.
Mulvaney, who continues as director of the Office of Management and Budget, said he was at the bureau all day Saturday even though his office was extremely hot. The thermostat only for that office was locked at 80 degrees and could not be changed without a security code that nobody had.
Mulvaney said it occurred to him that might have been a prank tied to his controversial appointment.
"If it was, I appreciate that kind of deviousness," he said.
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