Members of the Oklahoma Ethics Commission voted Friday to offer the agency's top post to one of four finalists.
The name of the applicant was identified only as No. 9. All the applicants for the executive director position are attorneys and are from Oklahoma.
Commission Chairman Jo Pettigrew said she will call the finalist and see if the salary and other terms are agreeable. She made the comments after commissioners met in a three-hour closed session.
Pettigrew said it's hoped the finalist, if the offer is accepted, can start as soon as possible.
The agency has been without an executive director, a general counsel and an investigator since Nov. 30 when all three resigned either to retire or pursue other interests.
Only two employees remain with the agency, which writes civil penalty rules governing state campaigns and the conduct of state officers and employees.
“We need someone in the office who can kind of oversee what's going on,” she said. “We need someone there in the office.”
If the finalist accepts, it's possible the job could be filled by the first of the year, she said.
If it's turned down, the commission won't meet until next month. Its next regular meeting is set for Jan. 11, and Pettigrew said it might be difficult to get enough commissioners together for a special meeting Jan. 4.
The salary being offered is the same that was advertised when the opening was announced, she said. The pay range for executive director was set at $100,000 to $120,000 annually.
“If we offer the position for this current fiscal year, it will be within the framework of that salary that we had stated,” Pettigrew said.
Commissioners on Friday reviewed nearly 60 applicants for the general counsel post during the closed session.
Commissioners voted in open session to interview at least four of them. The general counsel post's pay range was set at $92,500 to $112,500.
“We would really like for the new executive director if that person is designated, to assist in making the decision on the general counsel,” Pettigrew said.
“It could be that if we can't get this deal to work with the offer that we'll move on and do some action because we need an attorney in there. A lot of the questions that come in you just need an attorney to answer and our current staff is not qualified. So we're kind of at a standstill on some things.”