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A panel tasked with selecting members of North Dakota's new ethics commission will meet later this month, according to a meeting notice posted late Monday afternoon.

The selection committee isn't expected to make final decisions during its June 21 meeting, but officials are preparing to winnow down their choices for the five-member commission. The state constitution requires the governor and the Senate's majority and minority leaders to reach a consensus on the appointments.

Senate Minority Leader Joan Heckaman, D-New Rockford, said Tuesday the three officials were tasked with identifying their top 10 or so candidates. She said the applicant pool included "excellent" choices.

Nearly 70 people applied for the ethics commission by last month's deadline.

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A survey sent to eligible candidates asked whether they hold public office or are a lobbyist, candidate for public office or political party official, all of which are barred from serving on the commission. The survey also asked about how they've handled conflict resolution and making unpopular decisions.

Voters created the ethics commission with the passage of Measure 1 last year. The panel will be able to write rules on transparency, corruption, elections and lobbying as well as investigate allegations of wrongdoing.

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