ATLANTA –Appointing authorities for the DeKalb County Ethics Board are seeking nominations to replace five board members who recently resigned, leaving the board without a legal quorum. The board is supposed to have seven members and two alternates, but has been plagued with turmoil to the point that it could not function.
Chairwoman Alex Joseph announced her resignation on Feb. 9, citing concerns over a culture of bullying and lack of transparency and accountability—the same reasons others say they have resigned. Joseph said that several meetings have been called into executive session, out of the public’s view.
State Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates) and State Sen. Kim Jackson (D-Stone Mountain, joined with DeKalb County Clerk Debra DeBerry and DeKalb County Tax Commissioner Irvin Johnson to issue a call on Thursday (March 9) for the nominations.
“As representatives of the appointing authorities for the DeKalb Ethics Board, we were disappointed to read recent press coverage about events leading to the resignation of five members of the Board of Ethics,” Rep. Drenner and Sen. Jackson stated in a news release. “Because the board is an independent agency, our only role here is to fill the vacancies. Therefore, we are actively seeking nominations for candidates to fill the five vacant positions. We look forward to filling these positions in an expedient manner and expect all board members to return to their very important work in good faith.”
The DeKalb County Board of Ethics was reconstituted in 2021 after an overwhelmingly successful ballot referendum updated the appointment process. The referendum enacted House Bill 1243, which passed during the 2020 Legislative Session. HB 1243 most notably updated the appointment process for the Ethics Board, granting appointing authorities to the House and Senate legislative delegations, tax commissioner and clerk of the superior court.
The House and Senate DeKalb County Legislative Delegations will receive nominations via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Chairs of the House and Senate DeKalb County delegations have asked that nominations include a resume and brief statement about the nominee’s interest in the Board.