DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Mayor Eric Johnson named Dallas lawyer Tim Powers as his Ethics Reform Czar.
Mayor Johnson will task Powers — the managing partner of international law firm Haynes & Boone and the mayor’s appointee as chair of the city’s Ethics Advisory Commission — with forming a working group to focus on overhauling the city’s ethics code.
“We are trying to root out people who are trying to skirt the rules,” said Johnson during a Friday morning press conference.
As the Ethics Reform Czar, Powers will present a set of recommendations to the mayor. Chairman Powers may also make any other related proposals for safeguards that can ensure ethical behavior in city government.
“Tim Powers has an exceptionally brilliant legal mind,” Mayor Johnson said. “He is well-qualified and uniquely suited to lead our much-needed efforts to rewrite our ethics rules, and he brings with him a record of success both here in Dallas and around the world.”
The City Attorney’s office will provide assistance and advice to Powers’ group. The mayor intends to have the City Council vote on the item by the end of June.
“Dallas must strive to create a culture of ethical behavior and compliance,” Mayor Johnson said. “We must be able to show our residents, the people of this great city, that they can rely on those of us who they’ve entrusted with great responsibilities.”
Powers said he is “honored that Mayor Johnson has asked me to help our city improve its ethics code.”
“The City of Dallas deserves an ethics system that works — one that is based on best practices, is built upon a strong legal foundation, and is designed to work for Dallas now and into the future,” Powers said. “This effort is important and critical to our city, and I am excited to start.”
Johnson stressed that he wanted to appoint someone outside of City Hall, with “no ties” to the building.
Powers’ new role isn’t permanent, nor is it considered a city position.