Mayor Johnson announced on February 22 that the city of Dallas had hired its first-ever inspector general.

Bart Bevers, 58, a former state health inspector general, will take on the new position to investigate city waste, abuse, and fraud. 

In December, Dallas City Council members voted unanimously for the inspector general role, along with other proposals to strengthen transparency and accountability to residents and make reporting ethics violations and rules more evident.

“This vote today on ethics reform represents a sea change in the way this city does business,” said Mayor Johnson. “It’s a historic vote. It’s a monumental vote. And it’s the right thing to do to restore the public’s trust.”

Beginning on March 14, Bart Bevers will lead an office that will be under the city attorney. More staff is expected to be hired, but how many will join the office is unknown.

The new department will receive and examine all internal fraud, waste, corruption complaints, and anonymous tips. It can also evaluate claims of retaliation against whistleblowers.

Another of its tasks will be to present credible cases to Dallas’ Ethics Advisory Commission, as it will have subpoena power. The division will have to submit quarterly reports on the results of all investigations.

On March 9, Mayor Johnson formally introduced Bart Bevers in a press conference. “Our City Council last year supported my historic ethics reform proposal that created the city’s first-ever Office of the Inspector General,” said Mayor Johnson in a tweet. “Today, we introduced Bart Bevers as the inaugural Inspector General and signed the city’s ethics pledge. A huge step forward for Dallas!”

Presently, complaints are filed with the city secretary’s office and called to the auditor’s office. Still, neither of those offices examines the claims, causing complainants to investigate and present their cases to the Ethics Advisory Commission.