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April 11, 2018      7:25 AM

Updated: Patrick's TEC appointee Slovacek tests code of conduct for Ethics Commissioners

Commissioner Slovacek raises money for the Harris County GOP in Houston, says “In the unlikely event HCRP were to have a complaint filed against it at TEC, I would recuse myself”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional comments from the Harris County Republican Party – SB

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s new appointee to the Texas Ethics Commission has been raising money for the Harris County Republican Party while serving as a campaign finance regulator, an unusual commingling that could be at odds with the agency’s internal conflict of interest rules.

Joseph Slovacek, a Houston lawyer and previously Patrick’s appointee to the Texas Facilities Commission, is also the county party’s finance chair in Houston and one of the TEC’s newest members, replacing long-time Commissioner Hugh Akin.

As party-based political appointees, commissioners often have backgrounds in politics or campaigns, so the agency has an internal “Code of Conduct” imploring members of the eight-person panel to “make every effort possible” to avoid even the appearance of conflict. A copy of the code of conduct was obtained through a request filed under Texas open records laws. You can download it at the end of this story.

By David Saleh Rauf

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