Over the years, he has been appointed to several committees and commissions, including the Office of Patient Protection Executive Committee (a committee formed by the governor of Texas to ensure the rights of patients), the Texas Public Finance Authority Board, and the Texas Department of Corrections. In the 1980s, as an appointee of Gov. Bill Clements, he was instrumental in bringing about reforms necessary for Texas to comply with a federal court order that found the state's treatment of its prisoners unconstitutional. Whittington was named presiding officer of the Texas Funeral Service Commission after a major shakeup of the agency in 1999. He was appointed by then-Texas GovernorGeorge W. Bush and re-appointed in 2002 by Governor Rick Perry.