ND Ethics Commission appointed | Prairie Public Broadcasting

ND Ethics Commission appointed

Aug 8, 2019

Sen. Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson), Sen. Joan Heckaman (D-New Rockford) and Gov. Doug Burgum meet to select members of the state Ethics Commission.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Five members have been appointed to the new state Ethics Commission.

A committee made up of Gov. Doug Burgum, Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson) and Senate Minority Leader Joan Heckaman (D-New Rockford) made the appointments.

The committee chose former district judge Ron Goodman of Oakes, tribal college president Cynthia Lindquist of Ft. Totten, former Sanford Health executive Paul Richard of Fargo, former Williston Mayor Ward Koser and former National Guard General David Anderson of Bismarck.

Sixty-nine people applied. The five were chosen by committee consensus.

Burgum said he’s happy with the appointments.

"They're not lobbyists," Burgum told reporters after the meeting. "They're not elected officials, or deeply affiliated with one party or the other. We were trying to look for a non-partisan group."

Both Wardner and Heckaman said it was a good process.

"I think we came out with an excellent product," Wardner said.

"We had some good candidates," Heckaman said. "And I hope that when an opening comes up, some of these people will keep their names in consideration for us."

One of the leaders of the initiated measure that created the Ethics Commission – Ellen Chaffee – told that committee she appreciated the "high integrity process" in selecting the members.

"I think the Ethics Commission is off to a wonderful start," Chaffee said.

Burgum said he was a little disappointed that only about a quarter of the applicants were women, and few were young people.

"Maybe we can build a stronger, deeper pool next time,' Burgum said.

The appointments take effect Sept. 1. Goodman and Linquist will serve full four year terms, Anderson will serve 3 years and Richard and Koeser will serve two year terms. That's because the measure called for staggered terms. And once those terms are up, the members would be eligible for four year appointments.