Pasco’s Doc Hastings confirmed he will chair the Office of Congressional Ethics, at the invitation of House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Hastings, a Republican, represented Washington’s Fourth Congressional District for two decades until his retirement in 2014. He previously spent eight years on the House standing ethics committee, including several as its chairman.
The standing committee has been in existence for many years. The Office of Congressional Ethics was established about 10 years ago. The six members and two alternates are appointed by the two political parties. Members of Congress and lobbyists may not serve.
Hastings said he is duty-bound not to discuss any matters that might come before the outside group, but expressed gratitude to Ryan for the opportunity. Hastings said he did not seek out the post.
“If the Speaker felt that I was able to do that, then I was proud to say I would,” he said.
Hastings was appointed last month under controversial new rules adopted Jan. 3 that no longer require the speaker and minority leader to agree on their respective appointments, as reported by the Washington Post.
Prior to the change, Democrats rejected Hastings and another board member, the Post said.