Three former legislators among ethics panel appointments

Rep. Roger West, R-Cherokee, listens during a debate on the House floor Thursday, July 27, 2006 in Raleigh, N.C. The Legislature gave overwhelming approval Thursday to an overhaul of ethics and lobbying rules that would end lawmakers' unlimited access to campaign donations, dinners and tickets to university sporting events from lobbyists.(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

RALEIGH — Three former legislators — including a House speaker from the late 1970s — could soon join a newly reconstituted North Carolina State Ethics Commission as the choices of General Assembly leaders. The state Senate agreed unanimously Monday on how to fill four of eight commission slots. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper selects the other four.

Legislative leaders are appointing former Speaker Carl Stewart of Gaston County, along with recent Sen. Shirley Randleman of Wilkes County, ex-Rep. Roger West of Cherokee County and former Shaw University President Clarence Newsome. The House still must approve these appointments.

A separate ethics commission was in place for decades until the legislature tried in 2016 to combine duties with the elections board. Courts struck down the combined panel’s composition, leading to separate panels starting Jan. 31.