BISMARCK — The recently formed North Dakota Ethics Commission met Wednesday, Dec. 11, in Bismarck to interview candidates for its executive director position and discuss the timeline for drafting administrative rules.
Commissioners interviewed Joseph Camisa and David Thiele for the full-time director position, which when filled, will facilitate the difficult task of establishing an administrative base on which the commission can build, chairman Ron Goodman said.
Camisa is a former park ranger at Theodore Roosevelt National Park who now works as a supervisor of commercial services at North Guaranty and Title Co. in Mandan. Thiele has practiced law in the state and spent a long career serving with the North Dakota National Guard.
The commission will likely hold a special public meeting next week via conference call to discuss the candidates and choose one to fill the position. Goodman said hiring a director was a crucial next step for the commission. The executive director would earn between about $77,000 and $117,000 annually depending on experience and qualifications.
The four present members of the board also dipped a toe Wednesday into the vast pool that is administrative rules. State law gives the board about six more months to form the rules, which can be hundreds of pages long, but Goodman noted that the board can apply for an extension if needed.
The rules would dictate how the commission goes about its business by establishing procedure for handling public complaints and punishing ethical violations. The rules could also establish if certain topics, like campaign finance disclosures, fall under the commission's jurisdiction.
Goodman, who used to serve as a district court judge, shared an 18-page draft of potential rules with fellow commissioners, but he noted it was a "very rough" draft. The chairman said he hopes to have a guiding code of ethics drafted by the next regular meeting in January.
The commission also discussed its website, which commissioners said they would like to be live by the January meeting. Goodman and others expressed desire for setting up an online submission tool for complaints in addition to the hotline that is required by state law. The commission does not currently have any online presence.
Despite pushback from a Republican-led legislature, voters approved the establishment of the commission last year. Gov. Doug Burgum and Senate majority and minority leaders selected the five-member commission to oversee the conduct of lobbyists, state officials, lawmakers and candidates.