Janet Cowell, pick your boss: The public or shareholders

Charles Elson studies corporate governance for a living and is one of the nation’s experts on the subject of boards of directors.

He has almost never seen a situation like the one involving N.C. Treasurer Janet Cowell.

“Very unusual. I’m not familiar with (anything like) it,” Elson told the Observer editorial board on Monday.

Tuesday, shareholders of specialty insurance company James River Group Holdings will gather in Bermuda to vote on adding Cowell to its board of directors. That follows Cowell’s joining the board of ChannelAdvisor in February. The state Ethics Commission approved, but Elson and other critics say Cowell’s arrangement is improper, and we agree.