Requesting Written Advisory Opinions
The Ethics Commission issues formal Advisory Opinions which respond to questions relating to "whether an action or proposed action" by the person requesting the opinion violates the West Virginia Governmental Ethics Act or W.Va. Code § 61-10-15 (relating to county employees’ interests in contracts).
In addition, the Ethics Commission’s Committee on Open Governmental Meetings issues Advisory Opinions which interpret the Open Governmental Meetings Act. For information on obtaining Open Meetings Advisory Opinions, click here.
Only persons subject to the Ethics Act (or to W.Va. Code § 61-10-15 or to the Open Governmental Meetings Act) may make a request for an Advisory Opinion on whether an action or proposed action violates one of these statutes. The identity of the requester will not be disclosed in the Advisory Opinion.
The Commission will not respond to requests for written opinions on the propriety of someone else’s conduct.
The Commission generally meets on the first Thursday of each month to consider responses to requests for Advisory Opinions.
How to Request an Opinion?
Requests must be submitted in writing to: West Virginia Ethics Commission, 210 Brooks St., Suite 300, Charleston, WV 25301. The request must contain a complete statement of the facts, including the name, address, phone number and the requester’s official position.
Prior Advisory Opinions
Since its creation in 1989, the Ethics Commission has issued hundreds of Advisory Opinions. Pursuant to W. Va. Code § 6B-2-3, Advisory Opinions may be relied upon in good faith unless they are amended or revoked by the Ethics Commission.
To view prior Advisory Opinions:
Reliance on Advisory Opinions
A person subject to the Ethics Act who acts in good faith reliance on an Advisory Opinion shall be immune from the sanctions of the Ethics Act and of the sanctions set forth in W.Va. Code § 61-10-15. Such persons also shall have an absolute defense to any criminal prosecution for actions taken in good faith reliance upon any such Opinion.