Gray has tapped former city Attorney General Robert Spagnoletti, who also represented Gray in a private property case involving Gray's home, to head up the newly minted D.C. Board of Ethics created by the council earlier this year.
Spagnoletti called that case with Gray "minor" and said, "it didn't deal with ethics issues that will be coming before the board." He added that he would recuse himself from any issue before the board that was connected to the law firm he currently works for, and that he discussed the perception of his appointment with the mayor and current attorney general before accepting the nomination.
"I arranged with the mayor to make sure I come to this board with integrity, and I intend on leaving it that way," he said at the announcement of his appointment Tuesday.
The board is in charge of enforcing the code of conduct for elected and other city officials and would have the authority to sanction them for violations.
Along with Spagnoletti, Gray nominated for the board Laura Richards, former deputy general counsel for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and Deborah Lathen, a communications and regulatory consultant. Tuesday's rollout came more than two months after Gray missed the deadline issued by the council to name nominees. During that time, Gray's team has repeatedly said his picks would come "soon," although privately some have said finding a nominee who wanted to serve and who fit all the qualifications was an arduous process.
The delay made some on the council impatient. Last month Ward 4 Councilwoman Muriel Bowser, who shepherded the bill through committee, submitted legislation giving Council Chairman Kwame Brown the authority to name an ethics board member. She withdrew the legislation on the condition that Gray would name his appointments by Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Gray defended the time he took to fill the board.
"I don't view this as being bound by a date," he said. "I view this as being bound by finding the best people who can do the job."
The board still needs to locate office space, but it cannot hire anyone until they are confirmed by the D.C. Council, which is likely to take at least one month. However, the nominees said they are speaking among each other about how to fill their staff.