WASHINGTON, D. C. - Sen. Sherrod Brown interceded in the high profile legal dispute over who should oversee the Consumer Financial Protection Agency on Monday by filing a legal brief that insisted the temporary successor chosen by Ohio's Richard Cordray should stay on. The brief filed by Brown and other supporters of the 2010 law that created the agency says that law is clear: if the director's office becomes vacant - as it did when Cordray stepped down on Friday - the bureau's deputy director becomes its head until the U.S. Senate confirms the president's nominated successor. The Ohio Democrat's legal brief was filed as part of a lawsuit by the deputy director that Cordray installed before leaving - Leandra English - who said President Donald Trump's effort to put Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney in charge of the watchdog agency violates provisions of the law meant to guarantee its independence. "Congress ensured that the President could not circumvent the need for Senate confirmation by naming a temporary replacement for a Director who leaves before the expiration of his or her term," her lawsuit said. Mulvaney is a longtime critic of the agency, who has called it a "joke" and backed legislation to dismantle it. Both English and Mulvaney declared themselves to be in charge of the agency on Monday, as Mulvaney declared a 30-day hiring freeze. "This agency will stay open," Mulvaney said. "Rumors that I'm going to set the place on fire, or blow it up or lock the doors are completely false." Mulvaney institutes 30-day freeze on hiring, new rulemaking The White House says the Federal Vacancies Reform Act gives presidents the power to fill the post. "It is unfortunate that Mr. Cordray decided to put his political ambition above the interests of consumers with this stunt," said a statement from White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders. "Director Mulvaney will bring a more serious and professional approach to running the CFPB." Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman on Monday told Fox News that he backs Mulvaney. "I think he's got a plan in place," Portman said." And he's going to have people there operating the CFPB, the Consumer Financial Protection