UPDATED: Committee selects five members for new North Dakota Ethics Commission, thanks applicants

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A committee tasked with selecting members of North Dakota’s newly created Ethics Commission reached consensus today on appointing the first five members to the voter-approved Commission. All five members have verbally accepted their appointment.

The selection committee consists of Gov. Doug Burgum, Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, and Senate Minority Leader Joan Heckaman, D-New Rockford. During its fourth meeting today, the committee reached consensus on appointing the five members from a pool of nearly 70 applicants.

By a 3-0 vote, the committee selected:

  • David B. Anderson of Bismarck, a retired brigadier general in the North Dakota National Guard who now works as coordinator of military student services at the University of Mary in Bismarck. Anderson earned a bachelor’s degree from North Dakota State University and a master’s in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.
  • Ronald Goodman of Oakes, a former attorney and retired judge who served as a district court judge from 1994 to 2006. Goodman earned his undergraduate degree from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., and his master’s and law degrees from the University of North Dakota.
  • E. Ward Koeser of Williston, a former teacher, military veteran and telecommunications business owner who served as Williston’s mayor from 1994 to 2014. Koeser earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Dickinson State University.
  • Cynthia Lindquist of Devils Lake, who has served as president of Cankdeska Cikana Community College in Fort Totten since 2013. Lindquist earned a bachelor’s degree from UND, a master’s in public administration from the University of South Dakota and a doctorate in educational leadership from UND.
  • Paul Richard of Fargo, a retired executive vice president and former general counsel at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo. Richard earned bachelor’s degrees in nursing and business from NDSU and his law degree from UND.

North Dakota voters approved a constitutional amendment in November 2018 establishing an Ethics Commission “to strengthen the confidence of the people of North Dakota in their government, and to support open, ethical, and accountable government.” The Commission consists of five members appointed by consensus agreement of the governor and the Senate majority and minority leaders.

Clarifying legislation approved in April requires the members’ terms to be staggered. The selection committee determined that Goodman and Lindquist will each serve a four-year term, Anderson will serve a three-year term and Koeser and Richard will each serve a two-year term, effective Sept. 1 after taking the oath of office.

Goodman was designated as the Commission’s convening chair to call the first meeting.

Burgum, Heckaman and Wardner all expressed their gratitude for the excellent pool of candidates who applied to serve on the Commission, and to each other for the collegial selection process that resulted in an excellent group of initial members for the Commission.

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