The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board will soon hire a new executive director. Megan Tooker, who has held the position since December 2010, is leaving to pursue unspecified new opportunities, she told Bleeding Heartland on November 4.
The ethics board is one of the smallest state agencies and enforces Iowa law on campaign finance disclosures, government ethics and lobbying the executive branch, and gifts to public officials.
Since the executive director also serves as legal counsel to the board, applicants must be attorneys admitted to the Iowa bar. A job listing on a government website shows applications are being accepted through November 12. The annual salary range is from $63,689.60 to $97,468.80; state records show Tooker’s base pay was $97,460 for the last three years records are publicly available.
The posting mentions the following duties and responsibilities:
I was pleasantly surprised to see this job listing. The last time there was turnover at the top of this agency, longtime board chair James Albert recruited Tooker, one of his former Drake Law School students, without advertising the opening. The Des Moines Register editors gave the ethics board a “thistle” for the “rush job in secret” to make that hire. Albert has served on the ethics board since 1997 and had also recruited Tooker’s predecessor, Charlie Smithson. (He left shortly after the 2010 election to become the Iowa House chief clerk. Smithson later worked in the Iowa Secretary of State’s office and is now the secretary of the Iowa Senate.)
Please spread the word to qualified attorneys, because it’s important to have a capable person in this enforcement role. The board typically meets only four times a year and relies largely on advice and information presented by the executive director.
UPDATE: Documents provided on November 5 in response to Bleeding Heartland’s records request indicate that Tooker is going to work in some capacity for the Iowa Lottery, and the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board is requesting permission to hire a second attorney. The agency combined the roles of counsel and executive director in 2001.