(June 7, 2012) Mayor Vincent Gray has nominated three candidates for the District’s new Board of Ethics and Government Accountability.
In a statement announcing the nominees June 5, Gray said all three have extensive experience in ethics and law.
Former D.C. Attorney General Robert Spagnoletti was nominated to chair the panel, and Laura Richards, former Commodity Futures Trading Commission Deputy General Counsel, and regulatory consultant Deborah Lathen were nominated as members.
The nominees must be confirmed by the D.C. Council.
Gray’s nominations came a day before D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown resigned amid charges of bank fraud and campaign finance misconduct. According to the Associated Press, Brown is expected to plead guilty to the charges at a June 8 hearing.
The board will be responsible for investigating alleged violations of ethics laws by District government employees and public officials. In addition, the board will issue new rules and regulations regarding the ethical conduct of employees and public officials, and conduct mandatory training on the D.C. government’s Code of Conduct.
“These nominees have extensive experience in law, public service and ethics as well as sterling professional and personal reputations in our city,” Gray said in a statement announcing the nominations. “I have faith that they will serve the people of the District well in safeguarding the trust that our residents place in their elected representatives.”
Board members will serve for six-year terms, except for the initial appointees, who will serve staggered terms.
“Mr. Spagnoletti has a solid record of government service and is respected by many. My gut reaction to his nomination is that he is a good choice for Chair of this important body,” Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) said in a newsletter to constituents. Bowser, chair of the Government Operations Committee, introduced landmark legislation for the District last year.
“We have an important opportunity before us to vet the leaders who will be putting their energies toward sheriffing the District’s newly enacted ethics laws,” Bowser wrote. “With funding for the Board of Ethics available Oct. 1, I am in the process of scheduling a hearing on these nominations and anticipate the Committee meeting to vote on the nominations before the Council’s summer recess begins in mid-July.”