State ethics watchdog wants more applicants for top job
The State Ethics Commission voted today to reopen applications for its top administrative job and to interview three finalists at its Dec. 16 meeting.
The commission, which enforces compliance with state laws on campaign finance, last week interviewed three candidates who will remain in contention for the post. They are Cassandra Lawson, employee relations manager at the state Department of Juvenile Justice; John Truslow, associate director of the Center of Business Ethics at Georgia State University’s business school; and David Von, executive vice president of HomeCoast Capital LLC.
“We uniformly thought they were of very high quality,” commission member William Jordan said. Each “had different skill sets and different levels of expertise and ability, but there were none right now that we were ready to extend an offer to.”
The position does not require a law degree, but commission members spoke today about several ways they plan to reach out to lawyers to expand the pool of candidates. They want to promote the position on the State Bar’s Web site and at the state’s law schools, as well as cajole the Daily Report, Atlanta’s daily newspaper for the legal community, to write a news article about the search.
New commission member Kent Alexander, a former U.S. attorney, also said he would contact managing partners at some of the city’s major law firms.
The commission will accept applications for at least 30 days, but it set no firm deadline today. The commission heard from 15 or so job applicants, including about a half-dozen lawyers and one or two people with experience at another ethics agency, in the first round.
Executive secretary Rick Thompson resigned to open his own business dealing with ethics compliance issues. His last day was Friday. Staff attorney Tom Plank is filling in in the interim.