CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The general counsel for the state Ethics Commission will become the commission's new executive director next month.Ethics commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to name Joan Parker to the post. Parker has been the commission's general counsel for four years and has worked for the commission for seven years.Parker will succeed Theresa Kirk, who is returning to private law practice after nine years' service with the commission, including the last 4 1/2 as executive director.
Parker's salary will be $85,000. She will take over as executive director March 11.Commissioners also voted to hire former assistant Kanawha County prosecutor Maryclaire Akers as the commissioner's new general counsel, at a salary of $81,000.Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants fired Akers as a deputy prosecutor earlier this month. At the time, he said he was acting "in the best interests of the office," but has not provided any additional explanation for her dismissal.