General Counsel, District Government
The mission of the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability (“BEGA” or “Ethics Board”) is to foster high ethical standards for District government employees and strengthen the public’s confidence that the Government’s business is conducted with impartiality and integrity. BEGA is comprised of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) and the Office of Open Government (OOG). The OGE is responsible for administering the Code of Conduct applicable to all District government employees; receiving, investigating and adjudicating violations of the Code of Conduct; training District employees on ethics standards; issuing rules and regulations governing District employees and public officials; administering the financial disclosure and lobbyist registration systems; and providing formal and informal ethics advice. The OOG is responsible for ensuring that public bodies comply with the Open Meetings Act and providing advisory guidance on the D.C. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
This position serves as the General Counsel to the Ethics Board, reporting to the OGE Director (the “Director”), and functions as the Ethics Board’s chief legal officer. The General Counsel provides legal advice to the Ethics Board and the Director, represents the Board and Director in various legal proceedings, and acts as the Board’s principal attorney in the development of new and amended legislation and regulations. The General Counsel serves at the pleasure of the Ethics Board.
Duties and Responsibilities
Responsible for drafting and maintaining comprehensive and clear standards of conduct for District employees that are objective, reasonable, understandable and enforceable. This Code of Conduct covers issues such as gifts, financial conflicts of interest, impartiality, outside employment, misuses of position, outside activities, as well as any associated appearance concerns. Assists the Director in supervising, managing and directing OGE staff. Such duties include making assignments to staff assigned to the Office and reviewing their work for quality and consistency; evaluating staff performance, planning work to be accomplished; giving direction based on the office mission, goals and priorities identified; and supervising the technical work of the office. Reviews incoming requests for ethics advice, assigns OGE attorneys with responsibility for responding to such requests, and monitors those assignments to ensure requesters receive relevant and accurate ethics advice in a timely manner in accordance with BEGA’s established deadlines. Drafts and reviews formal and informal advisory opinions on the applicability of the Code of Conduct.
Defends those decisions when they are appealed to the full Ethics Board. Reviews complaints and determines whether probable cause exists to believe that a violation of the Code of Conduct occurred, and whether to recommend that the Ethics Board refer the complaint to the United States Attorney’s Office (USA) or the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) for the District of Columbia for criminal prosecution. In making these recommendations, considers such things as the weight of the evidence, importance of the case and cost of litigation, necessity of the uniform application of the law, and other salient factors. Prepares memoranda of facts and law recommending formal proceedings before the Board or referral for criminal prosecution. Prepares reports of the number and disposition of complaints, number and type of formal and informal requests for advice, and other legal matters under the purview of the General Counsel.
Oversees the development and provision of education and training on the Code of Conduct for both new and experienced District government employees through workshops, seminars, outreach efforts, and symposia.
Qualifications and Education
Must be a graduate from a law school approved by the American Bar Association; and must be an active member in good standing of the bar of the District of Columbia, or eligible for waiver into the bar. (If eligible for waiver, incumbent must successfully obtain admission to the D.C. Bar within one year of commencing employment).
Other Significant Facts
This position is an Excepted Service Appointment. Employees serving in Excepted Service positions serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority.
Domicile Requirement – Excepted Service appointees must either be a District resident at the time of their appointment or become a District resident within 180 days of their appointment date.
Applicant should submit a cover letter and resume
Only individuals who meet minimum qualifications will be contacted.