The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics (BOEE) will be staffed with at least one additional board member, former United States Secretary of the Army, Togo D. West.
The mayor of the District of Columbia has offered a solution to a potential crisis with the city’s board that certifies elections. Fenty nominated Togo West, the former secretary of both the Army and veteran’s affairs under President Clinton, to serve as chairman of the BOEE. West has federal experience and ties to District politics, making him a prime candidate. The D.C. Council approved West’s nomination on Monday.
The BOEE is usually comprised of three members, but has operated with two since February 2009. Chairman Erroll Arthur announced this month that he was stepping down on August 2 to take a position with the D.C. Superior Court. With only one board member left, a quorum could not be established to certify election results.
Observers were concerned about a potential conflict of interest once Arthur announced his resignation from the BOEE. The two vacancies gave Fenty an opportunity to appoint new members to whom he has close ties. Those new appointees would ultimately be responsible for certifying elections in which Fenty is a candidate. The D.C. Council, however, is said to have had confidence in Fenty’s nomination of West. Fenty has yet to offer a second nominee to fill the Board’s third slot.
The District has an upcoming primary election on September 14 where District residents will choose mayoral candidates. Fenty will participate in that race as part of his re-election bid.