Magazine Feature / People

Professor appointed to state ethics commission

DU Human Communication Studies Chair Roy Wood was recently named to Colorado’s new Independent Ethics Commission. He will take the post on July 1.

The commission was created with the passage of Amendment 41 — now Article 29 of the Colorado constitution — last November. The article deals with standards of conduct in government. The amendment was a citizen initiative proposed by Colorado Common Cause and Jared Polis, a former state board of education member and Congressional candidate, to clean up influence in state politics.

House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, a former DU law student, nominated Wood to the post.

“Professor Wood brings a long and distinguished record of involvement in the field of ethics,” says Romanoff. “His expertise, independence and integrity will serve the commission well.”

Wood, a specialist in communication ethics, directs the Center for Civic Ethics, part of DU’s Carl Williams Institute for Ethics and Values. He has researched ethics and public service for the past five years, including conducting a comprehensive study of the ethics initiative in the City of Denver.

In 2006, Romanoff asked him to chair the Colorado House of Representatives Ethics Advisory panel.

“DU is known for developing character, morality and ethics,” says Wood. “It’s a good way for DU to influence ethics and values in our state.”

The Colorado Supreme Court, the House of Representatives, the governor and the Senate will select the five citizen-members of the Commission. Additionally, the other committee members will nominate one member.

The commission will hear and investigate ethics complaints, assess penalties and issue advisory opinions on ethics issues. It will have jurisdiction over all state, county and municipal officials and employees and will have subpoena power.

Wood, who will serve an unpaid four-year term, says he’s looking forward to serving.

“Citizens must have faith in our government,” he says. “Ninety-nine percent of employees are very ethical. We should be thankful every day for the work they do for us.”

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