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Roman Porter, executive director of ethics agency, to step down

August 16, 2011 |  2:13 pm

The executive director of the state’s ethics watchdog agency is stepping down.

Roman Porter announced Tuesday that he is leaving the state Fair Political Practices Commission,  six months after Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Ann Ravel as the panel's chairwoman.

"Unfortunately, it's traditional that the executive director leaves when a new chair comes in," said Robert Stern, president of the Los Angeles-based Center for Governmental Studies and former lead attorney for the commission. "I think you need some continuity." He said Porter did a great job.

Porter said he plans to leave in October and does not have another job lined up yet. "It really is an opportune time for a transition," he said. A new general counsel who used to work for Brown when he was attorney general has also joined the agency.

Ravel has made some shifts in the direction of the agency since she took over from Chairman Dan Schnur. For one thing, she ending the practice of publicly posting allegations of misconduct against elected officials before they are investigated.

"It is fully within the prerogative of the chair to decide how they want to direct the commission," Porter said. "I haven’t had any problems with that at all."

Ravel was out of the country on vacation and unavailable for an interview, but said in a statement:  "Roman has been an excellent spokesperson for the commission, and he has shown a commitment to the purposes of the Political Reform Act."

-- Patrick McGreevy

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