Press Release from David Skaggs, Chair, and Porter Goss, Co-Chair, of the board of the Office of Congressional Ethics established by House Resolution 895:
The board of the Office of Congressional Ethics held its first meeting together this Thursday and Friday, September 25 and 26, 2008. Our agenda was designed to provide context and background for the new Office and included productive and informative discussions with House leadership, the leadership of the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct and the leadership of the Bipartisan Ethics Task Force, as well as briefings by various House staff members concerned with the ethics process and the administration of the new Office. We also had very useful meetings with several outside experts in the field who are not affiliated with the House.
The board hopes soon to select an individual for the senior staff position to serve as Staff Director & Chief Counsel in the new Office. It will then proceed to draft and adopt its rules of procedure. Having some staff capacity and having rules for its operation in place are essential conditions for the Office properly to receive and act on any submissions concerning alleged violations of the ethical standards of the House. House Resolution 895 prohibits the Office from considering such matters until after the November election, and as a practical matter, we do not expect staffing and adoption of rules to permit the Office to be in operation until early in 2009.
The members of the board of the Office of Congressional Ethics were jointly appointed by Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Boehner as announced by them on July 24, 2008. The members, in addition to former Congressmen Skaggs (D-CO) and Goss (R-FL), are: former Congresswomen Yvonne B. Burke (D-CA) and Karan English (D-AZ), former House Chief Administrative Officer Jay Eagen, and Professor Allison Hayward. Alternates are: former Federal Judge and former Congressman Abner Mikva (D-IL) and former Congressman Bill Frenzel (R-MN).