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Petoe tapped to serve as executive director of state ethics panel

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virginia general assemblyStewart Petoe has been selected to serve as executive director of the Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council.  A licensed Virginia attorney with extensive supervisory experience, Petoe has been employed by the Virginia State Crime Commission since 2000, serving as its Director of Legal Affairs for the last 13 years.

“The significance of the Council’s work is evident in the numerous opinions we have already issued, the countless number of phone calls, e-mails and other informal questions the staff has answered, and our efforts to establish an online e-filing system for elected officials across Virginia,” said Judge Patricia West, Chair of the Council.  “A strong staff, led by a capable attorney who understands the Council’s vital role, is critical to the success of our mission.  Stewart has a proven track record of success in legislative branch agency support roles and we are thrilled to have him in this position.”

Petoe was selected from a pool of qualified applicants.  He was interviewed by a panel of attorneys in the Division of Legislative Services, as well as legislators and the Clerks of the House and Senate.  The panel presented Petoe’s application to the leadership of the General Assembly’s Committee on Joint Rules, who approved his hiring.  He will begin serving in his new position with the Council full-time on July 25.

“The Ethics Council is a new and important part of the legislative branch that requires steady leadership as its role and functions develop,” said Speaker of the House William J. Howell (R-Stafford), Chairman of the Committee on Joint Rules.  “Stewart is a talented and capable attorney with extensive legislative branch experience.  We are confident he is prepared to lead this new agency and excited for him to begin his work.”

“Stewart’s vast experience reviewing the Code of Virginia and case law, and offering legal analysis, makes him the ideal choice to provide elected officials with research, advice and counsel on Virginia’s ethics laws,” noted Senator Ryan T. McDougle (R-Hanover), Vice Chairman of the Committee on Joint Rules.  “He has a well-earned reputation for integrity from his service on the Crime Commission and I fully expect the members of Joint Rules will confirm Stewart at its next meeting.”

“I am excited to be joining the Council staff at the end of this month,” Petoe said.  “The Council is critical to the success of Virginia’s ethics laws. Our responsibility as staff is to support the Council’s work, provide objective legal analysis on questions before us, and assist elected officials with filings and ethics questions.

“I look forward to beginning my work, and am grateful to the members of the Council and the leadership of the General Assembly for the confidence they have placed in me

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