More than three months after its executive director stepped down, the Oakland Public Ethics Commission may be close to restarting its work.

Oakland officials said they expect a new director will be in place to lead the agency in about a month.

“Our goal is to have the position filled and a new ED (executive director) on board in late October/early November,” city spokeswoman Karen Boyd said.

The commission has been inactive since June because its then-executive director, Dan Purnell, resigned. As the only full-time staffer for the commission, the action effectively halted the work of the PEC. The executive director does nearly all of the pre-investigative and follow up work for the commission.

According to Boyd, the city has been actively working to find a replacement since Purnell stepped aside.

“A review panel has screened the applicants and provided the City Administrator with a packet of qualified candidates,” she said.

A re-ignited commission will likely be very busy with back cases as well catching up on potential new ones.

One area where the PEC may turn its attention is to the Building Services division. Over the summer, while the PEC has been inactive, the Building Services scandal broke.The division, which is housed under the Community Economic Development agency, was harshly criticized in an Alameda County Grand Jury report that alleges a number of unethical actions by city inspectors.

The PEC also will likely be keeping a close eye on the upcoming special city election. On Nov.15, Oakland will have a mail-in ballot sent to voters regarding a parcel tax measure, the appointment of a city attorney and modifying ordinance language around the old police and fire pension, system.

Commissioner Aspen Baker said the board is eager to get started.

“I see so much possibility around our ability to support the city and work with residents,” she said. “We want people to bring issues to us and we want to have strong community engagement.”

Baker said she hopes that once things get up and running again, the commission can have a strategic planning session to, “assess where we are and what we envision for the commission going forward.”

Even with an active PEC, Oakland has a tiny staff working to fulfill the mission of the commission. Besides the executive director position, there is just a part time assistant that works for the board.

Oakland put in place its current form ethics commission in 1996. The seven-person board is made up of three members appointed by the mayor and four members are recruited and selected by the commission itself.