Two members of Georgia’s state ethics commission step down

Two members of Georgia’s state ethics commission have resigned from office.

Hillary Stringfellow, who had been serving as the board’s chairwoman, and Heath Garrett submitted their resignations this month, said Stefan Ritter, the commission’s director.

Stringfellow, first appointed to the board, formally known as the Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, in 2010, said “six years was enough.”

In her resignation letter, the Brunswick attorney said “the state of the commission is bright. The current executive secretary, Mr. Ritter, is very capable and providing the needed direction and oversight.”

“After my six years of service, I hope that I have left the commission a better place than when I arrived in June 2010,” she wrote.

Stringfellow was appointed by House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge. A spokesman said no decision has been about about a successor.

Garrett, appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal in 2011, said it had been an honor to serve.

“Following almost five years of effort to reform the funding, personnel and efficiency of the commission, I believe the agency is in capable hands — creating a stable time period to allow fresh leadership from new commissioners,” he said.

Stringfellow took over as chairwoman during a time of great upheaval at the commission. Lawsuits and internal strife had left the agency broken and ineffective. Over the past several years, however, the board, led by Stringfellow and boosted by additional state funding, worked to restore the commission’s internal structures and its reputation.

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