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 Conflict of Interest

1997-14 City Building Commission Member

A City Building Commission member may serve as an uncompensated member of a non-profit organization that manages a city community center.


1998-01State Board Member

A State Board member may serve as its interim executive director under exigent circumstances.  

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2005-11 State Official

No Ethics Act provision prohibits state elected official from holding appointed federal position, but State constitutional limitations may apply.

2006-01 County Solid Waste Authority
Rewards program for law enforcement officers reporting illegal dumps not permissible.

2006-03 State Administrative Law Judge 
Not prohibited from conducting outside law practice 
May not represent individuals he regulates 
May not use state resources for private business activities

2006-04
 County Employee
Spouse’s work for developer does not bar him from providing support services to county agencies considering developer’s permit applications.

2006-06 State Legislator
May not use position to influence appropriations to non-profit employer

2007-04 Assistant Attorney General
May send letter at own expense to clients he represented as government attorney advising of his move to private practice.

2007-05 County Commissioner
May provide information on web site for law practice which relates to his role as an elected Commissioner

2007-07 Mayor
Appointment of Mayor’s son as City Attorney would create “inescapable” conflict of interest.

2007-13
 Administrative Law Judge
Permitted to engage in outside practice of law, provided certain limitations are followed.​​​​


2011-01 County Council Member

  • County Council Member’s business may appraise estates so long she recuses herself from any matters coming before the County Council involving the probate of any estate her business has appraised.
  • County Council Member’s business may not appraise any estates over which the Sheriff has been appointed by the County Council as the administrator. 
  • County Council Member’s business should be removed from the Fiduciary Supervisor’s list of available appraisers.
  • County Council Member may not appear, as a representative or witness, before the Council, either about the appraised value, or the amount of her compensation.
  • County Council Member may not accept protected persons from the Sheriff for placement in her nursing home, absent a contract exemption for the Sheriff.
2011-02​  County Council Member 

County Council Member’s business may contract with a multi-county Conservation District under the following circumstances:

 (1) the contract is let via a sealed bid process;

 (2) the project is not funded by County money;

 (3) the project is not the subject of an agreement between the District and the County including any agreement for flood control as authorized by W.Va. Code § 19-21A-13 ; and

 (4) the affected Member recuses himself from the District’s appropriation request or any request for funding. 

Opinion does not authorize the employment of County Commissioners or County Council Members, their spouses or dependents, by Conservation Districts in the County where they serve.


2011-09 County Hospital 

  • County Hospital may accept unsolicited offer of equipment and related services from appointed board member.
  • County Hospital may accept unsolicited offer of real property from appointed board member so long as:  there are no financial conditions associated with the property transfer; and the body notifies the public of the member’s offer and allows other property owners to offer their property.
  • County Hospital may accept unsolicited offer of real property from appointed board member even if there are unresolved issues requiring mitigation (e.g. environmental hazards, or outstanding liens), but only if an independent evaluation determines that the overriding benefit is to the governing body rather than the donor and it receives permission from the Ethics Commission.
Modifies AO 95-09 by clarifying that the donation (as opposed to the leasing) of property does not constitute a public contract.

2012-17 Presiding Officer of a house of West Virginia Legislature
  • May not be retained to provide legal services to an Association which is actively engaged in lobbying Legislature on behalf of its members who are public employees.
  • Proposed employment contract presents an inescapable conflict, given the unique position held and power wielded by the presiding officer.
  • Access to confidential information may have chilling effect on other legislators, if proposed employment contract permitted.
  • Public may perceive that Association has hired him because of his unique ability to influence legislation. 
  • Other Associations that do not employee a high ranking member of the Legislature may believe that they are at a disadvantage in the legislative process. 
Opinion limited to Presiding Officers of houses of West Virginia Legislature.

2012-19 Member of the Legislature
  • May be retained to provide consulting services to Public University during and after his term of office.
  • Conflict of interest cured by his removal from potentially overlapping committees.
  • Must consult with Presiding Officer of his house and abide by appropriate legislative voting rule.
  • May not use influence of legislative position to attempt to affect the actions of University personnel to enhance his contractual benefits; introduce, sponsor or advocate legislation to benefit the University in any way; influence either the State’s distribution of federal grant money or State funds to the University for any purpose, not just those related to his consulting contract; or influence the appropriation of public funds to benefit the University in any way.
2013-02  County Board of Education
  • School coach may privately employ School Principal.
  • Principal may not evaluate coach who is his private employer, nor make recommendations to BOE concerning his subordinate employee/employer.
  • Assistant Principal may evaluate coach so long as Superintendent or designee, who is not Principal’s subordinate, reviews evaluation.
  • Prohibition against direct solicitation of business from subordinate relates to commercial transactions such as sale of goods or services, not employment. 
2013-09 County Prosecutor
  • Ethics Act does not prohibit Assistant Prosecutor from serving as elected County Commissioner in another County, even if counties are situated in same judicial circuit.
  • Assistant Prosecutor must perform County Commission duties on his own time, not during public work hours. 
2013-11 State Legislator
  • State Legislator may not sponsor legislation relating to issue upon which he advised a client of his private law practice prior to his election to Legislature when bill uniquely affects his client, rather than class of five or more.
  • Presiding Officer determines whether to excuse Legislator from voting.

2013-16 Solid Waste Authority
  • A solid waste authority may accept funds from companies it regulates, for an event with public purpose and significant public benefit, where solicitation was directed to the general public for this event.
  • However, the solid waste authority may not accept funds from a company who is currently negotiating a long term land lease and potential private/public partnership with the authority.
2013-21  County Commission
  • A County Commission may not employ a private attorney for civil matters (as employee, or on a contract basis) if that attorney maintains a private criminal defense practice in the same county.
  • Regardless of the lack of involvement in setting the budget for the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, an inescapable conflict is created in serving both positions simultaneously, such that both positions of attorney for county commission and private criminal defense attorney in same county, may not be held.
2013-25 Board Member of Conservation District
  • A Conservation District may not reimburse landowner expenses where the provider is a member of the Conservation District Board unless the Conservation District seeks and obtains a contract exemption from the Ethics Commission.
  • A Conflict of interest exists where the elected Board Member of Conservation District Board, votes to approve landowners’ applications to participate in the program and receive reimbursement for lime/fertilizer, and the board member effectively provides these products and services.
  • The conflict of interest may not be cured by Board Member’s recusal from voting. Further, the Board Member may not contract with another vendor to provide the services, thereby circumventing the Ethics Act.
  • A Conservation District Board member’s failure to respond to an Ethics Commission’s request for additional information, and failure to timely file a Financial Disclosure Statement may constitute intentional avoidance of disclosure, constituting knowing failure, a misdemeanor under WV code §6B-2-10(c).
 2013-30 State Agency Commissioner
  • The Ethics Act prohibits the Commissioner of a State Agency that promotes and regulates live dog and horse racing throughout the state from retaining a 20% ownership interest in a horse that will compete in WV. (This commissioner would be subject to regulations which he/she is charged with enforcing, creating a conflict of interest.)
  • WV Code § 6B-2-5(k) states there can be no participation in rate making or licensing where the ownership interest is greater than 10%.
  • WV Code § 6B-2-5(j) prohibits public servants from voting on matters in which they have a financial interest; therefore the State Agency Commissioner is prohibited from voting on matters related to horse racing.
  • The Commissioner of this State Agency is privy to confidential information, and must avoid the appearance of impropriety, or unfair advantage over other horse owners.
2013-33 Elected State Official
  • An Elected State Official may serve as Secretary of a local Masonic Lodge and accept an expense reimbursement stipend of $300 per month.
  • None of the Elected State Official’s public duties overlap with serving as the Secretary of a local Masonic lodge.
  • Both positions are permissible so long as there is no public contract involved, no regulation of the lodge by the official’s state office, and no private work during public work time or with public resources. The stipend must be unrelated to the • Elected State Official’s public position. 
2013-34 Sheriff's Tax Deputy
  • A Sheriff’s Tax Deputy may provide security services to residents and law enforcement throughout the state through a limited liability company with some exceptions.
  • The Sheriff’s Tax Deputy is prohibited from charging fees for any goods or services that he or the LLC provides to any government agencies within the county which he/she serves. He/she may not use more than a de minim​us amount of public resources for private purposes.
  • W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(o) states there may be no solicitation of private business from subordinate public officials or public employees whom he/she has authority to direct, supervise or control.
  • The Sheriff’s Tax Deputy must recuse himself/herself from handling delinquent taxpayer accounts for current or prospective customers of his/her private business.
2013-35 Housing Authority Inspector/Mayor (Conflict of Interest, Employment Restrictions, Vote)
  • A Housing Authority may continue to employ a part time inspector who was recently elected Mayor of a nearby town, with limitations.
  • The Mayor must recuse himself/herself from any matters regarding his Housing Authority employer.
  • If the Mayor also serves as Municipal Judge, additional care must be taken when citizens under his/her authority as housing inspector appear in municipal court. • He/she must disclose the conflict, and if requested by either party, must recuse himself/herself. The Mayor will also be prohibited from presiding as municipal judge when he/she performed a housing inspection for a party within the last six months.
2013-36 County Assessor (Conflict of Interest, Public Contracts, Private Gain)
  • A County Assessor may purchase office supplies from a company owned by his employee’s fiancé. (The employee has no involvement with supply purchases. The County Assessor has no financial or personal relationship with the employee or his/her fiancé.)
  • W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 is applicable to the County Assessor, but not to all county employees.
  • There may be no interest in public contracts and no favoritism. The employee has no voice over purchases, and is not a “county official”. The County Assessor is a county official, but there is no Ethics Act violation because the employee has no control over purchases and the County Assessor has no personal or financial relationship with the employee or his/ her fiancé.
2013-37 Civil Service Board Member
  • A Civil Service Board member may not sit on the board while he/she is employed by the Sheriff. The board member’s recusal is not appropriate. The board member may only continue sitting on the Civil Service Board if he/she resigns from employment with the Sheriff.
  • Employment by a public agency constitutes a personal financial interest which prohibits a public employee from voting on matters which affect his/her employer.
  • On the Civil Service board, this board member would be required to investigate the sheriff’s office and his/her coworkers, as well as review tests/training certifications to determine promotions, and judge propriety of disciplinary action; all of which equate to prohibited financial interests. (Overruled by 2013-47.)
2013-41 County Employee
  • A county employee may not serve on County Commission while employed full time by the County Ambulance Authority.
  • W. Va. Code §61-10-15 prohibits county officials from having an interest in public contracts. The County Commission appoints all members of the County Ambulance Authority and has authority to make contributions to the ambulance authority from general funds. If elected, the county employee would have voice, influence or control over the County Ambulance Authority who has control over his/her employment, via the Authority’s Executive Director.
2013-43 Members of County Solid Waste Authority

The individual members of a County Solid Waste Authority do not violate the Ethics Act by continuing a meeting after a member with a purported conflict of interest has refused to recuse himself/herself. Instead, the member who refuses recusal likely violates the Act.

2013-47 Town Council Members, County Employees
  • Town Council members who are currently employed, or whose spouses are currently employed by the County Board of Education may vote on issues concerning property deeded to the Board of Education.
  • W. Va. Code §6B-1-3(b) defines business as “any entity through which business for profit is conducted”. This definition does not include a governing body.
  • W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d) states that no elected or appointed public official or public employee or member of his/her immediate family or business with which he/she is associated may be a party to or have an interest in the profits or benefits of a contract which the official or employee may have direct authority to enter into or over which he/she may have control.
  • W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(j)(1)(A) states that public officials may not vote on a matter in which they or an immediate family member or a business with which they or an immediate family member is associated have a financial interest.
  • The Ethics Commission overrules AO 2012-05, and finds that the Ethics Act does not prohibit a public official from voting on a matter with which his/her public employer has a financial interest. Further, retired employees have no financial interest. Here, a council member who is currently employed by the County Board of Education as a teacher is subject to W.Va. Code§ 61-1-15, but has no voice or control over the contract under these facts.
2013-48 State Agency Employees

A state agency may not allow its death investigators to provide contract services to the county as County Medical Examiners. Investigators would have a conflict of interest as they would be in the position of awarding contracts to one another. If this state agency is unable to find qualified candidates, it may seek a contract exemption from the Ethics Commission.

2013-50 State Agency Employees

State agency employees assigned to various Conservation Districts may participate in a state funded Agricultural Enhancement program that is administered by the Districts because they have no authority or control over these matters. However, state agency employees are cautioned not to take any action related to their own participation in the program except ministerial functions.

2013-51 Commercial Supervisor in County Assessor's Office
  • A commercial supervisor in the County Assessor’s office may lease residential property in the county in which he/she is employed, because this property is not subject to his/her regulatory action.
  • A commercial supervisor in the County Assessor’s office may not purchase, sell or lease commercial property in the county where he/she works, because either he/she or his/her subordinates take annual regulatory action on this property. (Personal transactions for personal homes are exceptions.)
  • A commercial supervisor in the County Assessor’s office may not purchase any commercial property at property tax lien auctions. (The purchase of residential property over which he/she has no regulatory control is permissible at tax auction.)
  • The only exception is if a property exemption is sought and obtained from the Ethics Commission.
  • Any employee of the County Assessor’s office who had the authority to select property for sale at auction and/or control the price or value thereof is prohibited from purchasing the property at auction. Employees of the County Assessor’s office may not engage in real estate transactions, including purchasing property at auction while on the public clock.
2013-52 Board President, County Ambulance Authority
  • A County Ambulance Authority may purchase property from the brother of its Board President. The Board President’s brother is outside the definition of immediate family and there is no financial relationship between them. The County Ambulance Authority Board President is also not subject to restriction because he/she is a part time appointed official.
  • The Board President has no financial interest, and therefore may vote on the property purchase. However, favoritism is prohibited in selecting property.
2013-53 County Board of Education
  • A county Board of Education member may vote on changing the Board of Education’s financial institution to a local bank in which he/she is a shareholder. He/she holds less than 1% stock so that neither the Ethics Act or W.Va. Code § 61-10-15 prohibit the Board of Education from contracting with the bank in which the board member owns stock. Some limitations apply.
  • The board member is prohibited from steering business to this bank, may not use undue influence, and still must recuse himself/herself on votes regarding the bank.
  • It is generally impermissible for a county official to have a pecuniary interest in a contract over which he/she has control. (W.Va. Code § 61-10-15(a))
  • There is a specific exception for interest in banks in W.Va. Code § 61-10-15(f), though, as long as the person recuses himself/herself from the “deliberations or ultimate determination” of the depository of funds.
2013-55 County Assessor
  • A County Assessor’s adult daughter may purchase property in the same county in which he/she works, as the daughter does not reside with the Assessor, and neither the Assessor nor his/her spouse has an ownership interest in the property.
  • The Assessor and his/her spouse may also engage in property purchase transactions in the county, if they are for personal residences. (The Deputy Assessor is authorized to assess the Assessor’s property.)
2013-58 County Commission/Regional Drug Court Team
  • A Regional Drug Court Team and its Advisory Board may contract with a County Commissioner to provide dental services to a drug court participant, with limitations.
  • The contract for dental work must be let out via a sealed bid process, dental work must not be funded by or comingled with funds from the county commission, and the affected county commissioner must recuse himself/herself from any Drug Court requests for funding directed to the County Commission.
  • This dental work was to be paid for from individual donations and grants, and voluntary allocation of County Commission funds did not constitute direct authority or control. 
2013-59 State Licensing Board
  • The Ethics Commission lacked jurisdiction to answer the question presented regarding the licensing board’s enabling legislation, and the potential conflict of interest posed by a member of the State Licensing board accepting a paid position with a private entity and that member’s ability to remain on the state licensing board.
  • The state licensing board should consult the Governor’s office, which has appointing authority for state licensing board members regarding any potential conflicts of interest.
2013-60 State Licensing Board Member overruled by AO 2020-05
A member of a state licensing board may not accept a paid position with a private entity and remain on the board. The private entity is a firm that conducts business with professionals that the state licensing board licenses and regulates. The firm contracts with professionals licensed by the state licensing board in order to provide services to participants in government programs. This state licensing board member would be simultaneously responsible for enforcing compliance with regulations over the same people which he/she represents to a private entity.
  • Under these facts, the public and private roles are too inextricably intertwined and present an impossible impediment to impartiality. This state licensing board member is unable to perform both positions without creating unavoidable conflict of interest and an impermissible use of public office for private gain.
2014-02 State Board Members
Are not prohibited from serving on the State Board or from voting on the applications submitted by municipalities with which they have a relationship. The Ethics Act’s definition of “business” does not include a governing body, therefore these State Board members do not have a financial interest in the municipal applications under W.Va. Code § 6B-1-3(b).

2014-04 Assistant Park Superintendent
  • May serve at the same park where his/her brother has a contract to operate its marina, with limitations. A third party must investigate complaints and report these to his/her supervisor. Assistant Park Superintendent should not inspect the concessions or initiate corrective action, but should either assign another employee to do so, or do so along with another non-subordinate employee.
  • Prohibition against interest in public contract is limited to “immediate family members” based on the inherent financial relationships between spouses who live together, as well as dependent children, grandchildren, and parents. By contrast, an adult sibling is not presumptively financially dependent on another sibling.
  • Therefore, the contract between Assistant Park Superintendent’s brother and the state agency is not prohibited under W.Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d).
2014-05 County Board of Education
  • May purchase a scoreboard from an athletic booster organization, a private, non-profit charitable organization, despite having a member who is common to both the governing body and the private organization.
  • Common member to each organization is not compensated by the athletics boosters organization, has no financial relationship with the boosters organization, and is not a party to the boosters organization loan for the scoreboard.
  • Common member is not required to recuse him/herself on any matters related to any contract or transaction between the governing body and the boosters. Non- profit organizations are not encompassed in the Ethics Act definition of a “business” in W.Va. Code § 6b-1-3(b).
  • Neither W.Va. Code § 61-10-15 nor 6B-2-5(d)(1) prohibits the contract, as the common member does not have a personal interest in the contract, and the non-profit’s financial interest cannot be imputed to the common member by virtue of his position on the non- profit board, without evidence that he/she receives financial benefit in the transaction.
2014-08 Appointed Member of County Solid Waste Authority
  • May, in his/her private capacity, bring a civil suit against the authority on whose board he/she serves, with limitations.
  • Member must recuse him/herself from deliberations or votes related to his/her lawsuit, as he/she has a direct financial interest in the litigation, and is a party to the litigation. Member is further prohibited from discussing, deliberating, or voting on waste hauling certificates of convenience and necessity by the Public Service Commission, the subject matter of the lawsuit.
  • Member is further prohibited from participating in the authority’s development of any plan regarding related matters, unless done as a member of a class of five or more similarly situated parties.
  • Member must not use his/her public position to further his/her private interests, must not use confidential information obtained through his/her public position to further private interests, and may not informally communicate with fellow appointed members of the authority to influence voting related to the lawsuit.
2014-09 Candidate for County Board of Education
  • May, if elected, be employed as a teacher for a multi-county area vocational center that services the county because the Board of Education is not the teacher’s employer.
  • County board of education member is not prohibited from voting on matters related to the vocational center because he/she does not have a financial interest in the funding for the vocational center as an employee of the vocational center.
  • Candidate/employee does not have the requisite control in employment decisions to invoke prohibitions in WV Code § 61-10-15.
  • Some conditions apply: If elected, candidate may not use his/her position on the county board of education to obtain a position at the vocational center, to promote raises or other benefits to his/herself or others, unless the class exception is applicable, and may not serve on the vocational center’s Administrative council. Candidate may not use public resources, including county board of education staff to perform private work for the vocational center.
2014-10 Members of City Council
  • May vote, despite being potentially affected by ward boundary adjustment.
  • No distinction is made between members of city council who plan to run for reelection versus those who do not. Each is voting on an issue which will impact the status of future city councils, not the current city council of which they are a part. Neither current city council member has a direct interest, financial or otherwise, in the terms of future elected officials for purposes of the Ethics Act.
2014-11 Sheriff
  • • May expend funds from the Sheriff’s Concealed Weapons Fund for the purpose of fitness supplies and equipment to assist the Sheriff’s deputies in meeting annual fitness requirements of the position because it falls within the Ethics Act’s definition of usual and customary duties.
  • • May expend funds from the Sheriff’s Concealed Weapons Fund for the purpose of paying for dry-cleaning of officers’ uniforms because the expenditure meets the Ethic Act’s definition of “the advancement of public policy goals or constituent services”.
  • • Expenditures from the Sheriff’s Concealed Weapons Fund are public funds, and may not be used for private gain, must be authorized expenditures, and must be related to law enforcement purposes, or the operating needs of the Sheriff’s Office.
2014-12 Sheriff
May not sell unused or surplus weapons directly to the son of a Deputy Sheriff and deposit the money into the Concealed Weapons Fund, as it would be using his public position to benefit the son of a subordinate in violation of the Act’s prohibition against use of public office for private gain, and would be an unavoidable conflict of interest.

2014-14 City Council Member/Municipal Employee
  • May vote on general issues affecting municipal employees such as better working conditions, including raises, so long as there are more than five municipal employees, as well as issues affecting the overall municipal budget. He may further vote on issues directly affecting other departments which do not employ him.
  • May not vote to advocate on behalf of municipal employees in his own department or deliberate on matters specific to that department unless there are five or more employees in that department.
  • He must further recuse himself completely from any matters which affect him uniquely.
2014-15 State Agency
  • May sell advertising to defray the cost of wellness tools on its website to assist public employees to improve their health because it falls within the Ethics Act’s definition of usual and customary duties and the advancement of public policy goals or constituent services.
  • Selling such advertising does not constitute prohibited endorsement of a vendor or product, and so the state agency must include a disclaimer with the advertisement making clear that the appearance of the advertising should not be construed as endorsement.
  • Must allow equal access for advertising to all businesses or classes of businesses related to health and wellness.
2014-17 County Sheriff
Does not have a prohibited conflict of interest if his father-in-law bids on or is awarded a contract with the Sheriff’s office. The definition of “immediate family member” does not include father-in-law, and there is no financial relationship between the Sheriff and his father-in-law, so there is no prohibited financial interest.

2014-18 Retired State Agency Employee
May accept a new position with a private consulting firm which contracts with his/her former employer, with limitations. The retired employee may not improperly disclose confidential information or use it for his/her own or another’s personal interests. Revolving door restrictions do not apply, because the retired employee’s state agency position was not created by law, was not appointed by the governor, and was not either the position of attorney or accountant. If the retired employee must appear before his/her former agency, he/she must first seek the agency’s approval to do so.

2014-19 State Regulatory Agency
May employ someone who owns stock in a regulated company, and whose spouse is employed in the regulated industry, as its Division Director. Where stock ownership was less than 5%, the director would file Financial Disclosure Statements, would have no authority over contracts, and regulation would be pursuant to statutory formula, employment was permissible. Such employment is not prohibited under revolving door rules, nor would such employment create an inescapable conflict.

2014-22 State Death Investigator
State death investigator may provide services to his State agency when a co-worker selects him by strict adherence to the rotation list without subjective input and favoritism by the co-worker.

2014-23 County Commissioners
Board of Education (BOE) employees and retirees and their spouses may serve as county commissioners and may vote on funding requests made by the BOE. 

2014-24 County Positions
Executive director of county economic development authority (EDA) may be employed by the EDA and serve as a member of the board of the county public service district. 

2014-25 County Positions
Board member of county economic development authority (EDA) may serve as a common board member to both the EDA and public service district (PSD), and the Requester may vote on any matters between the EDA and the PSD. 

2015-01 Legislators
Legislator may continue his employment during the Legislative session as an attorney with a company that employs registered lobbyists when the legal services he provides are unrelated to the company’s lobbying activities. 

2015-03 State Employees
State employee who is charged with oversight of safety and training for a statewide industry may offer private safety classes to individuals because his public duties are not regulatory, but ministerial.

2015-06 State Ratings Officer
May conduct federal rating examinations of her spouse’s region based on the specific facts presented. If those ratings affect her spouse in any way, then a different employee should conduct the examinations.

2015-10 A City Code Enforcement Officer
Is prohibited from acquiring property within the city which he/she regulates without first obtaining a contract exemption from the Ethics Commission. 

2015-16  County Building Commission Member
A County Building Commission member may purchase and develop property owned and managed by a County Urban Renewal Authority without violating W. Va. Code §§ 6B-2-5(d)(1), 6B-2-5(b) or 61-10-15.

2016-07 State Board Member
​A State Board Member may testify as an expert witness in a civil action against a defendant that has previously appeared before the State Board when the testimony would not be based upon test results or other information gained from the Board Member’s public position. The Board Member may not improperly use his position on the Board for his personal benefit, a plaintiff’s benefit or to the detriment of a defendant who may appear before the Board as this would result in improper private gain. The Board Member is prohibited from knowingly and improperly disclosing any confidential information acquired in the course of his official duties and from using such information to further his personal interests or the interests of another person.

2017-09 Cabinet Secretary

  • No provision of the Ethics Act per se prohibits Requester from owning 20 percent of non-voting Class B stock in a health care consulting firm or from being the sole member of a limited liability company that owns the building leased by the health care consulting firm.  
  • The Ethics Commission cannot speculate as to what future acts the Requester could take in his official capacity which might violate the Ethics Act. ​
2017-12 A County Commissioner
Neither the Ethics Act nor W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 prohibits an appointed parks board member from serving as an uncompensated member of a Convention and Vistior's Bureau ("CVB") board or from serving as the president of the parks board and the CVB board at the same time.  Nothing in the Ethics Act or W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 per se prohibits the president of a chamber of commerce from also serving as the president of a parks board and as the president of a CVB board.  If the president of the chamber of commerce is compensated for his or her service on the chamber's board, then additional limitations may apply.

2017-17 A County Planning Commission Member 
County planning commission members may not attend public hearings before the planning commission on which they serve on projects with which they are associated.  They may, however, pursuant to a specific exception in the Ethics Act and related Code provision, communicate with planning commission staff outside of meetings and public hearings regarding the projects.


2017-18 A Cabinet Secretary
A Cabinet Secretary’s former stock ownership interest in a consulting firm does not require him to remove himself from matters involving the firm or its clients.

W. Va Code § 6B-2-5(h) does not prohibit a Cabinet Secretary’s lease of real property to a firm which has or may have regulatory matters before his department as the lease predates his appointment to public office and is being continued under its original terms.  He may not use his public office to unlawfully benefit the firm and must seek a Property Exemption from the Ethics Commission if he seeks to make a material change, such as a rent increase, to the terms of the lease.

2019-09 A City Council Member 
The Ethics Act’s “revolving door” provision, at W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(g), does not prohibit a City Council member from representing a client before the City’s Board of Zoning Appeals in a building permit dispute. 

2019-23 County Airport Authority member
The Ethics Act does not generally prescribe who is eligible to serve on a public body.  The Act does not prohibit the Requester from simultaneously serving on the boards of the Airport Authority and the Chamber of Commerce while maintaining his employment with a local hotel.

2019-27 City Council Member

The Ethics Act’s “revolving door” provision, at W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(g), and prohibited representation provision, at W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(f), do not prohibit a City Council member from representing a client in traffic code violations before the City’s Municipal Court. 

2019-28 Pre-candidate for Sheriff
The Ethics Act permits a Sheriff to con​tinue to operate a real estate business that leases and sells property to individuals and businesses in the same county.  A Sheriff may not seek to sell or lease property to persons who have been the subject of a regulatory matter within the last 12 months or which currently have a matter before the Sheriff’s Office, such as persons under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office, delinquent in paying county taxes or subject to a warrant.

2020-03 A State Appeals Board member

The Ethics Act does not prohibit a State Appeals Board member from serving as a member of a Political Executive Committee.  While nothing in the Ethics Act prohibits a public official from serving as a member of a Political Party Executive Committee, the Commission has no jurisdiction to rule whether other laws or policies prohibit it. 


2021-12 Municipal Officials 
A Mayor must recuse himself from matters related to a for-profit emergency services organization to which the municipality makes annual appropriations because he is an officer and/or a board member.  As a for-profit organization, the organization qualifi​es as a business.  A City Recorder and Council Members must recuse themselves from matters​​ related to a business if they own five percent or more of the outstanding stock. 

2022-05 County Commission 
A municipal judge may serve on the county commission in the same county as the municipality because the County Commission does not appoint Town officials or employees or appropriate money to the Town.   
2022-06 Co​unty Board of Health President 
The Ethics Act does not prohibit a member of the Board of Health, including the President, from being an unpaid member of the board of directors of a nonprofit hospital/health system when the only other health system in the County is not represented on the Board of Health.​