ND Ethics Commission meets for the first time

BISMARCK, N.D. - Thursday was the first meeting of the new Ethics Commission. With many questions about their procedure lingering, commissioners said they're just happy to start.

The first votes named former Judge Ron Goodman the chair of the commission after being named interim chair by the Governor.

In a different timeline, Goodman wouldn't have even been named to the commission at all. Near the end of nomination process, Goodman requested to not be considered any further.

"The committee that made the choices contacted me after I said that I was going to withdraw and asked me to stay on because they wanted me to stay on and continue to get consideration," Goodman said.

Not only would Goodman agree to stay in, he was ultimately given a 5-year term; the longest available.

Fellow commissioner Dr. Cynthia Lindquist, President of Cankdeska Cikana Community College, was named Vice Chair. During her confirmation, she was also a candidate for the President job at the University of North Dakota. She withdrew her candidacy when she was also given a 5-year term to the Ethics Commission.

"When I am asked to serve, I do so with the intent of being invested in that board or committee and to be fully engaged," Lindquist wrote.

Today's meeting focused the learning open meeting laws and determining qualifications for opening clerical jobs.

With the first meeting in the books, North Dakota elections begin a new era in oversight.

This first meeting is a two-day event. Tomorrow's meeting will focus on budgeting staff and reporting responsibilities.