MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – The Alabama Ethics Commission has begun the search for a new director, but commissioners already have someone in mind to take the job on an interim basis.
Commission members voted Wednesday to offer the position of acting director to former Cumberland Law School Dean John Carroll. Carroll stepped down this year after serving as dean since 2001. He is also a former U.S. magistrate judge for the Middle District of Alabama.
Commission chairwoman Larkin Martin said she had a preliminary conversation with Carroll to see if he might be interested. She said they will now reach out to him formally, and she hopes he will accept the position.
“His reputation is excellent, and we hope he is willing to come serve the state,” Martin said.
Carroll could not immediately be reached for comment. The acting director will not be a candidate for the permanent position.
Current Director Jim Sumner is retiring on Oct. 1 after leading the commission for 17 years.
The commission helps enforce Alabama ethics law that governs behavior for public officials.
The commission issues advisory opinions about what is allowed, and not allowed, under state law. It investigates complaints against public officials and can issue fines or refer the complaint to prosecutors.
The agency also maintains the disclosure forms filed by Alabama public officials and state lobbyists.
The ethics panel also began the search for a permanent director.
“We want to conduct a thorough, transparent and broad search,” Martin said.
Martin said commissioners want an acting director in place because of the time it will take to make a permanent hire.
The permanent appointment will have to be confirmed by the Alabama Senate. The Senate does not convene again until spring.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)