Members of the newly reformed DeKalb County Board of Ethics will be named by a legal deadline of Dec. 31, according to a state legislator involved in candidate interviews.

When applications for the positions opened last month, it was said that appointees would be named by Dec. 18. But a large number of candidates is extending the process, which by law must wrap up by year’s end, said state Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates).

“We had an overwhelming response with lots of qualified candidates,” said Drenner.

She said applicants are currently undergoing background checks and that the delegation hopes to meet with some virtually next week.

The board is intended to independently review claims of improper conduct by public officials.

The current board has been inactive since the Supreme Court of Georgia ruled in 2018 that its member appointment method was unconstitutional. A ballot question approved by voters Nov. 3 will dissolve the current board on Dec. 31. New board members will take their positions Jan. 1.

Under the new rules, three members will be chosen by the county delegation in the state House of Representatives, three by the county delegation in the state Senate, and one by the county tax commissioner. Two alternates will be appointed by the clerk of the county Superior Court.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.