Agency Header

West Virginia
Ethics Commission

210 Brooks Street, Suite 300
Charleston, WV 25301
Phone
(304)558-0664
WV Toll-Free
1 (866) 558-0664
Fax
(304)558-2169
Office Hours
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Email:
ethics@wv.gov

 Ethics Advisory Opinions


To view the Index of Ethics Advisory Opinions by Topic, click here: AO Index​





AO 1989-01A
AO 1989-04
​AO 1989-05

AO 1989-06
​AO 1989-09
AO 1989-10
​AO 1989-10
Supp

AO 1989-12
​AO 1989-13
AO 1989-14
AO 1989-15
AO 1989-16
AO 1989-17
​AO 1989-18
AO 1989-19
​AO 1989-20
AO 1989-21
AO 1989-22

AO 1989-23
AO 1989-23
Supp

​AO 1989-24
AO 1989-25
AO 1989-26
AO 1989-27
​AO 1989-28
AO 1989-29
AO 1989-30
​AO 1989-31
AO 1989-33
AO 1989-34
AO 1989-35
​AO 1989-37
​AO 1989-38
​AO 1989-39
AO 1989-40
AO 1989-41
AO 1989-42
AO 1989-43
AO 1989-44
AO 1989-45
AO 1989-46
AO 1989-47
AO 1989-48
​AO 1989-49
AO 1989-50
AO 1989-51
AO 1989-52
AO 1989-53
AO 1989-54
AO 1989-55
AO 1989-57
AO 1989-58
​AO 1989-59
AO 1989-60
AO 1989-62
AO 1989-63
AO 1989-64
AO 1989-65
​AO 1989-66
​AO 1989-67
​AO 1989-68
AO 1989-69
​AO 1989-70
AO 1989-71
AO 1989-72
AO 1989-73
AO 1989-74
​AO 1989-75
AO 1989-76
AO 1989-77
AO 1989-78
​AO 1989-79
AO 1989-80
AO 1989-81
AO 1989-82
AO 1989-83
AO 1989-84
​AO 1989-85
AO 1989-86
​AO 1989-87
AO 1989-88
AO 1989-89
​AO 1989-90
AO 1989-91
AO 1989-92
AO 1989-93
AO 1989-94
​AO 1989-95
AO 1989-96
AO 1989-97
​AO 1989-98
​AO 1989-99
​AO 1989-100
​AO 1989-101
​AO 1989-102
AO 1989-103
​AO 1989-104
AO 1989-105
AO 1989-106
​AO 1989-107
​AO 1989-108
​AO 1989-109
AO 1989-110
AO 1989-111
AO 1989-112
AO 1989-113
​AO 1989-114
​AO 1989-115
​AO 1989-116
​AO 1989-117
​AO 1989-118
AO 1989-119
AO 1989-120
AO 1989-121
AO 1989-122
AO 1989-123
​AO 1989-124
AO 1989-125
AO 1989-126
​AO 1989-127
AO 1989-128
​AO 1989-129
​AO 1989-130
AO 1989-131
​AO 1989-132
​AO 1989-134
AO 1990-01
​AO 1990-02
​AO 1990-03
​AO 1990-04
​AO 1990-05
​AO 1990-06
AO 1990-07
​AO 1990-08
AO 1990-09
AO 1990-11
AO 1990-12
​AO 1990-13
AO 1990-14
AO 1990-15
​AO 1990-16
AO 1990-18
​AO 1990-19
​AO 1990-20
AO 1990-21
AO 1990-23
​AO 1990-24
AO 1990-25
AO 1990-26
AO 1990-28
AO 1990-29
​AO 1990-30
​​AO 1990-31
​AO 1990-32
AO 1990-33
AO 1990-34
​AO 1990-36
​AO 1990-37
AO 1990-38
AO 1990-39
​AO 1990-40
AO 1990-41
AO 1990-42
AO 1990-43
AO 1990-44
AO 1990-45
​AO 1990-46
AO 1990-47
AO 1990-48
AO 1990-49
AO 1990-50
AO 1990-51
​AO 1990-52
AO 1990-53
​AO 1990-55
​AO 1990-56
​AO 1990-57
AO 1990-58
​AO 1990-59
AO 1990-60
AO 1990-61
AO 1990-62
​AO 1990-64​
AO 1990-65
AO 1990-66
​AO 1990-68
​AO 1990-69
​AO 1990-70
​AO 1990-72
AO 1990-73
AO 1990-74
​AO 1990-75
​AO 1990-76
AO 1990-77
​AO 1990-80
AO 1990-81
AO 1990-82
AO 1990-83
​AO 1990-84
​AO 1990-86
AO 1990-87
AO 1990-88
AO 1990-89
​AO 1990-90
​AO 1990-91
AO 1990-92
AO 1990-93
​AO 1990-94
AO 1990-95
​AO 1990-96
AO 1990-97
​AO 1990-98
AO 1990-99
​AO 1990-100
AO 1990-102
AO 1990-103
AO 1990-105
AO 1990-106
AO 1990-107
​AO 1990-108
​AO 1990-109
AO 1990-110
AO 1990-111
​AO 1990-112
AO 1990-113
​AO 1990-114
​AO 1990-115
AO 1990-116
​AO 1990-117
AO 1990-118
​AO 1990-119
AO 1990-120
AO 1990-121
​AO 1900-123
​AO 1990-124
AO 1990-125
AO 1990-126
AO 1990-127
AO 1990-128
​AO 1990-129
AO 1990-130
AO 1990-131
AO 1990-132
​AO 1990-134
​AO 1990-135
​AO 1990-136
AO 1990-138
AO 1990-140
AO 1990-142
AO 1990-143
AO 1990-144
AO 1990-145
​AO 1990-146
​AO 1990-147
AO 1990-148
AO 1990-149
AO 1990-150
AO 1990-151
AO 1990-154
AO 1990-155
AO 1990-157
​AO 1990-159
AO 1990-160
​AO 1990-161
AO 1990-162​AO 1990-163
AO 1990-164
​AO 1990-165
AO 1990-​166
AO 1990-168
AO 1990-​169
AO 1990-​170
​AO 1990-172
AO 1990-174
AO 1990-175
​AO 1990-175 Supp
​AO 1990-176
AO 1990-​177
AO 1990-179
AO 1990-​180
AO 1990-181
AO 1990-182
AO 1990-183
AO 1990-​185
AO 1990-​187
AO 1990-188
AO 1990-189
​AO 1990-190
AO 1990-191
​AO 1990-192
AO 1990-193
​AO 1990-194
AO 1990-199
​AO 1990-200
AO 1990-201
AO 1991-​01
​AO 1991-02
AO 1991-03
AO 1991-​04
AO 1991-​06
AO 1991-07
AO 1991-08
AO 1991-​09
AO 1991-10
AO 1991-​11
AO 1991-13
AO 1991-14
AO 1991-15
AO 1991-16
​AO 1991-17
AO 1991-18
AO 1991-20
AO 1991-20 Supp.
AO 1991-​21
​AO 1991-22
AO 1991-​23
AO 1991-​26
AO 1991-27
AO 1991-​28
AO 1991-​29
AO 1991-​30
AO 1991-31
​AO 1991-32
AO 1991-​33
​AO 1991-35
AO 1991-37
AO 1991-38
AO 1991-39
AO 1991-​41
​AO 1991-43
AO 1991-45
​AO 1991-47
​AO 1991-48
AO 1991-​50
AO 1991-​51
AO 1991-​52
​AO 1991-53
AO 1991-54
AO 1991-55
AO 1991-​56
​AO 1991-57
​AO 1991-58
AO 1991-60
AO 1991-61
AO 1991-​62
AO 1991-​63
​AO 1991-64
AO 1991-65
AO 1991-​66
AO 1991-67
AO 1991-68
AO 1991-69
​AO 1991-70
AO 1991-​71
AO 1991-​72
AO 1991-​73
​AO 1991-74
AO 1991-​75
​AO 1991-76
​AO 1991-77
AO 1991-​78
AO 1991-​79
​AO 1991-80
AO 1991-81
​AO 1991-82
AO 1991-83
​AO 1991-84
AO 1991-85
​AO 1991-86
​AO 1991-87
​AO 1991-89
​AO 1991-90
AO 1991-91
AO 1991-92
​AO 1991-93
AO 1991-94
​AO 1992-01
AO 1992-​02
AO 1992-​03
AO 1992-​04
AO 1992-​05
AO 1992-06
​AO 1992-07
AO 1992-08
AO 1992-​09
​AO 1992-10
AO 1992-​11
​AO 1992-12
AO 1992-13
AO 1992-15
AO 1992-​16
AO 1992-​18
​​AO 1992-19
AO 1992-20
AO 1992-21
AO 1992-22
AO 1992-​23
AO 1992-24
AO 1992-25
AO 1992-​26
AO 1992-27
​AO 1992-30
​AO 1992-31
​AO 1992-32
​AO 1992-33
​AO 1992-34
AO 1992-35
AO 1992-36
AO 1992-37
AO 1992-38
AO 1992-39
AO 1992-40
AO 1992-40 Supp
​AO 1992-41
​AO 1992-42
AO 1992-43
​AO 1992-44
​AO 1992-45
AO 1992-46
​AO 1992-47
AO 1992-48
AO 1992-49
AO 1992-50

AO 1992-51
AO 1992-52
​AO 1992-53
Overuled by
AO 1993-32 and AO 1993-49
AO 1993-01
AO 1993-02​​​AO 1993-03​AO 1993-04AO 1993-05
AO 1993-06
​AO 1993-07AO 1993-08AO 1993-10AO 1993-11​​AO 1993-12
AO 1993-13AO 1993-14​AO 1993-15​AO 1993-17AO 1993-18
AO 1993-19AO 1993-20AO 1993-21AO 1993-22​​AO 1993-23
AO 1993-24AO 1993-25AO 1993-26​​AO 1993-27AO 1993-29
AO 1993-30​AO 1993-31AO 1993-32​AO 1993-33AO 1993-34
AO 1993-35​​AO 1993-37AO 1993-39AO 1993-42AO 1993-43
AO 1993-44AO 1993-45AO 1993-46AO 1993-47AO 1993-48
AO 1993-49AO 1993-50​​AO 1993-51AO 1994-01​AO 1994-02
AO 1994-03AO 1994-04AO 1994-05​AO 1994-06AO 1994-07
AO 1994-08AO 1994-09​AO 1994-10AO 1994-11AO 1994-12
AO 1994-13AO 1994-14​​AO 1994-16AO 1994-17AO 1994-18
​​AO 1994-19AO 1994-20AO 1994-21AO 1994-22
​AO 1994-23
AO 1994-25AO 1994-26AO 1994-27AO 1994-28AO 1994-29
​​AO 1994-30AO 1994-31AO 1994-32​AO 1994-33AO 1994-34
AO 1994-35​​AO 1994-36AO 1994-37AO 1994-39AO 1995-01
AO 1995-02AO 199​5-03AO 1995-05AO 1995-06​AO 1995-07
AO 1995-8A​​AO 1995-8BAO 1995-09AO 1995-11​AO 1995-13
AO 1995-14AO 1995-15​AO 1995-17​AO 1995-18AO 1995-19
AO 1995-20AO 1995-21​​AO 1995-22​AO 1995-23​​AO 1995-24
AO 1995-25AO 1995-26AO 1995-27​AO 1995-28​AO 1995-29
AO 1995-30AO 1995-31​AO 1955-32​AO 1995-33AO 1995-34
AO 1995-35AO 1995-36AO 1995-37AO 1995-38​AO 1995-39
AO 1995-40AO 1995-41AO 1995-43AO 1995-44AO 1995-45
AO 1995-46AO 1995-47​AO 1955-48AO 1995-49AO 1995-51
AO 1995-52​​AO 1995-53AO 1995-54​AO 1996-02AO 1996-03
​AO 1996-04AO 1996-05AO 1996-​06​​​AO 1996-07AO 1996-08
AO 1996-09AO 1996-10​AO 1996-11AO 1996-12AO 1996-13
AO 1996-14AO 1996-15AO 1996-16AO 1996-17AO 1996-18
AO 1996-19AO 1996-20AO 1996-21AO 1996-22AO 1996-23
AO 1996-24AO 1996-27AO 1996-28AO 1996-29AO 1996-30
AO 1996-31AO 1996-32​AO 1996-33​​AO 1996-34AO 1996-36
AO 1996-37AO 1996-38AO 1996-39AO 1996-40​​AO 1996-41
AO 1996-42​AO 1996-43AO 1996-44AO 1996-45AO 1996-46
​​AO 1996-47AO 1996-49AO 1996-50AO 1996-51​AO 1996-52
​​AO 1996-53AO 1996-54AO 1996-55AO 1996-56AO 1996-57
AO 1997-02​AO 1997-03AO 1997-04​AO 1997-06AO 1997-07
AO 1997-08AO 1997-09AO 1997-​11​​AO 1997-12AO 1997-13
AO 1997-14​AO 1997-15​​AO 1997-16AO 1997-17AO 1997-18
​AO 1997-19AO 1997-20AO 1997-21​​AO 1997-22AO 1997-23
AO 1997-24AO 1997-25AO 1997-26AO 1997-27AO 1997-28
​​AO 1997-29AO 1997-30AO 1997-31​​AO 1997-32AO 1997-33
​​AO 1997-34AO 1997-35AO 1998-01AO 1998-02AO 1998-03
AO 1998-04AO 1998-05​​AO 1998​-06AO 1998-07AO 1998-08
AO 1998-09AO 1998-10AO 1998-11AO 1998-12AO 1998-13
AO 1998-14
AO 1998-15
AO 1998-16AO 1​998-17
AO 1998-18
AO 1998-19
AO 1998-20
AO 1998-21​
AO 1998-22
AO 1998-23
AO 1998-24
AO 1998-26
AO 1998-27
AO 1998-28
AO 1998-29
AO 1998-30
A​O 1998-31
AO 1999-01
AO 1999-02
AO 1999-03
​AO 1999-04
​AO 1999-05
AO 1999-06
AO 1999-07
AO 1999-08
AO 1999-09
AO 1999-10
AO 1999-11
AO 1999-12
AO 1999-14
AO 1999-15
AO 1999-16
​AO 1999-17
​AO 1999-18
AO 1999-19
Overruled by
AO 2021-08
AO 1999-20
AO 1999-​22
AO 1999-23
AO 1999-24
AO 1999-25
AO 1999-26
​​AO 1999-27
AO 1999-28
AO 1999-29
AO 1999-30
AO 1999-31​​
AO 1999-32
​AO 1999-34
​AO 1999-35
AO 1999-36
​AO 1999-37
AO 1999-38
​​AO 1999-39
AO 2000-01
AO 2000-02
AO 2000-03
AO 2000-04
​AO 2000-05
AO 2000-06
AO 2000-07
AO 2000-08
AO 2000-10
AO 2000-11
AO 2000-12
AO 2000-13
AO 2000-14
AO 2000-15
AO 2000-16
AO 2000-17
AO 2000-18
AO 2000-19
AO 2000-20
AO 2000-21
​AO 2000-22
AO 2000-23
​​AO 2000-24
AO 2000-25
AO 2000-26
AO 2000-27
AO 2000-28
AO 2000-29
​AO 2000-30
​AO 2000-31
​AO 2000-32
​AO 2000-34
AO 2000-35
AO 2000-36
​AO 2000-37
AO 2000-38
​AO 2000-39
​​AO 2000-41
​​​​AO 2000-42​
​​​AO 2001-01
​​​AO 2001-02
​​​AO 2001-03
​​​AO 2001-04
​​​AO 2001-05
​​​AO 2001-07
​​​AO 2001-08
​​​AO 2001-09
​​​AO 2001-10
​​AO 2001-11
​​​AO 2001-12
​​​AO 2001-13
​​​AO 2001-14
​​​AO 2001-15​
​​​AO 2001-16
​​​AO 2001-17
AO 2001-18​
​​​AO 2001-19
​AO 2001-20
​AO 2001-21
​AO 2001-22
​AO 2001-24
​AO 2001-25
​​​AO 2001-27
​​​AO 2001-28
​​​AO 200​1-29
​​​AO 2001-30​
​​​AO 2001-31
​​​AO 2001-32
​​​AO 2001-33
​​​AO 2​001-34
​​​AO 2001-35
​​​AO 2001-36
​​AO 2001-37
AO 2002-01
AO 2002-02
AO 2002-03
AO 2002-04
AO 2002-05
AO 2002-06
AO 2002-08
AO 20​02-09
AO 2002-10
AO 2002-11
AO 2002-12
AO 2002-13
AO 2002-14
​​​AO 2002-15
AO 2002-16
AO 2002-17
AO 2002-18
AO 2002-19
AO 2002-20
AO 2003-01​
​AO 2003-02
AO 2003-03
​AO 2003-04
​AO 2003-05
AO 2003-06
​AO 2003-07
​AO 2003-08
AO 2003-09
AO 2003-10
​AO 2003-11
​AO 2003-12
AO 2003-13
​AO 2003-14
AO 2003-15
​AO 2003-16
​AO 2003-17
AO 2004-01
AO 2004-02
AO 2004-03
AO 2004-04
AO 2004-05
AO 2004-​06
AO 2004-07
AO 2004-08
AO 2004-​09
AO 2004-10A
AO 2004-10B
AO 2004-11
AO 2004-12
AO 2004-13
AO 2004-14
AO 2004-​15
AO 2004-16
AO 2004-​17
AO 2004-18
AO 2004-​19
AO 2004-​20
AO 2004-21
AO 2004-22
AO 2004-24
AO 2004-25
AO 2004-26
AO 2004-27
AO 2004-28
​AO 2005-01
AO 2005-02
​AO 2005-03
AO 2005-06
AO 2005-07
AO 2005-08
AO 2005-09AO 2005-10AO 2005-11AO 2005-12
Overruled, in part, by AO 2021-21
AO 2005-13AO 2005-14AO 2005-15AO 2005-16AO 2005-18 
AO 2005-21AO 2005-22AO 2005-23AO 2006-01AO 2006-03
AO 2006-04AO 2006-06AO 2006-07AO 2006-09AO 2006-11
AO 2006-12AO 2006-13AO 2006-14AO 2006-15AO 2006-16
AO 2006-17AO 2006-18AO 2007-01AO 2007-02AO 2007-03
AO 2007-04AO 2007-05AO 2007-07AO 2007-08AO 2007-10
AO 2007-11AO 2007-12AO 2007-13AO 2007-14AO 2008-01
AO 2008-03AO 2008-05AO 2008-06AO 2008-07AO 2008-08
AO 2008-09AO 2008-10AO 2009-01AO 2009-02AO 2009-03
AO 2009-04AO 2009-05AO 2009-06AO 2009-07AO 2009-08
Overruled, in part,
by AO 2017-22
AO 2009-09AO 2009-10AO 2009-11AO 2009-14AO 2010-01
AO 2010-02AO 2010-03AO 2010-04AO 2010-05AO 2010-06
AO 2010-07 AO 2010-08AO 2010-09AO 2010-10AO 2010-11
AO 2010-13AO 2010-14AO 2010-15AO 2010-16AO 2010-18
AO 2010-19AO 2010-20 ​(obsolete)
AO 2010-21AO 2010-22AO 2010-23
AO 2010-24AO 2011-01AO 2011-02AO 2011-03AO 2011-04
AO 2011-05AO 2011-08AO 2011-09AO 2011-10AO 2011-11
AO 2011-12AO 2011-13AO 2011-14AO 2011-15
Overruled, in part,
by AO 2021-08
AO 2011-16
Overruled, in part,
by AO 2021-08
AO 2011-17AO 2011-18
Overruled, in part,
by AO 2017-22
AO 2011-19AO 2011-20AO 2011-21
AO 2011-22AO 2012-01AO 2012-02AO 2012-03AO 2012-04
Overruled, in part,
by AO 2016-04
AO 2012-06AO 2012-07
Overruled, in part, by AO 2021-21
AO 2012-08 AO 2012-09AO 2012-11 
AO 2012-12 AO 2012-13AO 2012-15 AO 2012-16AO 2012-17 
AO 2012-18AO 2012-19AO 2012-20AO 2012-21AO 2012-22
AO 2012-23AO 2012-24
AO 2012-25AO 2012-26AO 2012-27
AO 2012-28AO 2012-29AO 2012-30AO 2012-31AO 2012-32
AO 2012-33AO 2012-34  AO 2012-36AO 2012-37AO 2012-38
AO 2012-39AO 2012-40 AO 2012-41AO 2012-42AO 2012-43
AO 2012-44AO 2012-45AO 2012-46AO 2012-47AO 2012-48
AO 2012-49AO 2012-50AO 2012-51AO 2012-52AO 2012-53
AO 2013-01AO 2013-02AO 2013-03AO 2013-04AO 2013-05
AO 2013-06AO 2013-07AO 2013-08AO 2013-09AO 2013-10
AO 2013-11AO 2013-12AO 2013-13AO 2013-14AO 2013-15
AO 2013-16AO 2013-17AO 2013-18AO 2013-19AO 2013-20
AO 2013-21AO 2013-22AO 2013-23AO 2013-24AO 2013-25 (obsolete)
AO 2013-26AO 2013-27AO 2013-28AO 2013-30
Overruled, in part, by AO 2022-19
AO 2013-31
AO 2013-32AO 2013-33AO 2013-34AO 2013-35AO 2013-36
AO 2013-37 
overruled by
AO 2022-08
AO 2013-38AO 2013-39AO 2013-40AO 2013-41
AO 2013-42AO 2013-43AO 2013-45 AO 2013-46 AO 2013-47
AO 2013-48 AO 2013-49AO 2013-50AO 2013-51AO 2013-52
AO 2013-53AO 2013-54AO 2013-55AO 2013-56AO 2013-57
AO 2013-58AO 2013-59AO 2013-60
overruled by
AO 2020-05
AO 2013-61AO 2014-01
AO 2014-02AO 2014-03AO 2014-04AO 2014-05AO 2014-07
AO 2014-08AO 2014-09AO 2014-10AO 2014-11AO 2014-12
AO 2014-13AO 2014-14AO 2014-15AO 2014-16AO 2014-17
AO 2014-18AO 2014-19AO 2014-20AO 2014-21AO 2014-22
AO 2014-23AO 2014-24AO 2014-25AO 2014-26AO 2015-01
AO 2015-02AO 2015-03AO 2015-04AO 2015-05AO 2015-06
AO 2015-07AO 2015-08AO 2015-10AO 2015-11AO 2015-12
AO 2015-13AO 2015-14AO 2015-15AO 2015-16AO 2015-17
AO 2015-18AO 2015-19AO 2015-20AO 2015-21AO 2015-22
AO 2015-23AO 2016-01AO 2016-02AO 2016-03AO 2016-04
AO 2016-06AO 2016-07AO 2016-08AO 2016-09AO 2016-10
AO 2016-11AO 2016-12AO 2016-13AO 2016-14AO 2016-16
AO 2016-18AO 2017-02AO 2017-03AO 2017-04AO 2017-05
AO 2017-06AO 2017-07AO 2017-08AO 2017-09AO 2017-10
AO 2017-11AO 2017-12AO 2017-13AO 2017-14AO 2017-15
AO 2017-16AO 2017-17AO 2017-18AO 2017-19AO 2017-20
AO 2017-22AO 2017-24AO 2018-01AO 2018-02AO 2018-03
AO 2018-04AO 2018-05AO 2018-06AO 2018-07AO 2018-09
AO 2018-10AO 2019-01AO 2019-02AO 2019-03AO 2019-04
AO 2019-05AO 2019-06AO 2019-07AO 2019-08AO 2019-09
AO 2019-10AO 2019-11AO 2019-12AO 2019-13AO 2019-14
AO 2019-15 AO 2019-16AO 2019-17AO 2019-18 AO 2019-19 
AO 2019-21​ AO 2019-22AO 2019-23AO 2019-24AO 2019-25 
AO 2019-26 AO 2019-27AO 2019-28AO 2019-29AO 2020-01
AO 2020-03 AO 2020-04AO 2020-05AO 2020-06 AO 2020-07
AO 2020-08 AO 2020-09 AO 2020-10AO 2020-11AO 2020-12
AO 2020-13 
AO 2020-14AO 2021-01 AO 2021-02AO 2021-03
AO 2021-04
AO 2021-05
AO 2021-06
AO 2021-07
AO 2021-08
AO 2021-09
​​AO 2021-10
AO 2021-11
AO 2021-12
AO 2021-13
AO 2021-14
AO 2021-15
AO 2021-16
AO 2021-17
AO 2021-18
AO 2021-19
AO 2021-20​​
AO 2021-21
AO 2021-22
AO 2021-23
​AO 2022-01
AO 2022-02
​AO 2022-03​​
AO 2022-04
AO 2022-05
AO 2022-06
AO 2022-07
AO 2022-08
AO 2022-09
AO 2022-10
AO 2022-11
​AO 2022-12
AO 2022-13
AO 2022-14
AO 2022-15
​AO 2022-17
AO 2022-18
​AO 2022-19
AO 2022-​20
​AO 2022-21



Index of Ethics Opinions by Topic

(Index includes all the Opinions issued by the Commission since its inception, 1989, to present)


Confidential Information​


____________________________________________________________________________________

Conflict of Interest

1989-29 Solid Waste Authority Member

A SWA member may own a real estate company that sold land to a business seeking a permit.


1989-34 City Employee

A City employee may serve on city council.


1989-98 Judicial Clerk

A Judicial Clerk may serve as a board of education member.  (W. Va. Code § 18-5-1a was not considered)


1990-04 City Council Member

A City Council member may also serve on a board of a nonprofit organization.


1990-28​ Delegate

A Legislator may serve on a public service district, library board, and economic development authority, and must follow voting rules.


1990-31​ Regional Planning and Development Council

The Members of a Regional Planning and Development Council may serve on the County’s Committee on Aging.


1990-91 County Circuit Clerk

A Circuit Clerk may serve on the United Way board of directors.

1991-16 Solid Waste Authority Member

A SWA member may serve without compensation on a foundation’s board.  


1991-45 State Solid Waste Employee​​

A State employee with the SWA may serve on a city’s sanitary board.


1992-​07 Legislator/Solid Waste Authority Member

A Legislator may be a Solid Waste Authority member. 


1992-13 Higher Education Department Member

A Higher Education Department member may serve on a funding advisory board granting funds to the department, subject to limitations.


1992-18 Superintendent Board of Education

A Superintendent of a BOE may serve on boards for the YMCA, United Way, and Chamber of Commerce (for some programs).


1992-22 State Employee

A Public employee may serve on an interagency project review team that contracts with a close friend’s employer.


1992-32 Authority Member

An Authority member may serve on a non-profit board.


1992-47 Board of Education Member

A BOE member may serve on the county parks and recreation board.


1993-03 Legislator

A Legislator may serve on both a local council and state council that administer a federal job training program.


1993-15​ County Parks and Recreation Commissioner 

A Parks and Recreation Commissioner may also be a member of an ATV association and have an ATV business. 


1994-06 State Employee

A State staff attorney may work in the same agency as her husband. 


1994-07 County Parks and Recreation Commissioner

A Parks and Recreation Commissioner who owns an ATV business may answer questions at meetingsnfrom the commission about ATV issues.


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.


1998-01​ State Board Member

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

​​​​

2005-11 State Official

A State official may hold an appointed federal position, but state constitutional limitations may apply.

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

2007-07 Mayor
A Mayor may not hire his son as the City Attorney as it would create “inescapable” conflict of interest.

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


2011-09 County Hospital 

​A County Hospital may accept unsolicited offer of property, equipment, and related services from appointed board member under certain conditions.  Modified 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 H​​​​​​​​ouse of West Virginia Legislature

​A Presiding Officer of Legislature may not be retained to provide legal services to an association which is actively engaged in lobbying.  Opinion limited to Presiding Officers of houses of West Virginia Legislature.


2012-19 Legislator

​A Legislator 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 and other conditions apply.


2013-09 County Prosecutor

A Prosecutor is not prohibited from serving as elected County Commissioner in another County, even if counties are situated in same judicial circuit.


2013-11 State Legislator

A  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.  ​Presiding Officer determines whether to excuse Legislator from voting.


2013-16 Solid Waste Authority

​A SWA may accept funds from companies it regulates, for an event with  significant public benefit, where solicitation was directed to the general public for this event. The SWA may not accept funds from a company who is currently negotiating a long term land lease 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.


2013-30 State Agency Commissioner​

​A 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 per  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%.  (Overruled, in part, by AO 2022-19)


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.


2013-34 Sheriff's Tax Deputy

A Sheriff’s Tax Deputy may provide security services to residents and law enforcement throughout the state with some exceptions: He may not provide to government agencies within the county which he/she serves.  W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(o) states there may be no solicitation of private business from person 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.  


2013-35 Housing Authority 

​A Housing Authority may continue to employ a part-time inspector who was recently elected Mayor of a nearby town, with limitations. 


2013-37 Civil Service Board Member

​A Civil Service Board member may not be employed by 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.  (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 per W. Va. Code §61-10-15.   ​


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. 


2013-51 Commercial Supervisor in County Assessor's Office

​A commercial supervisor in the County Assessor’s office may be the lessor of residential property in the county because this property is not subject to his/her regulatory action.  A commercial supervisor in the County Assessor’s office may not purchase any commercial property at property tax lien auctions. 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. 


2014-04 Assistant Park Superintendent

A Superintendent may serve at the same park where his/her brother has a contract to operate its marina, with limitations.  Prohibition against interests in public contract is limited to “immediate family members.” 


2014-05 County Board of Education

BOE may purchase a scoreboard from an athletic booster organization, a private, non-profit charitable organization, despite having a member who is common to both.  Member has no financial interest in Boosters and may vote.


2014-08 County Solid Waste Authority Member

​A SWA member may, in his/her private capacity, bring a civil suit against the authority with limitations.


2014-09 Candidate for County Board of Education

A BOE member may be employed as a teacher for a multi-county area vocational center.  ​Some conditions apply.


2014-10 Members of City Council

City Council members may vote, despite being potentially affected by a future ward boundary adjustment.

​​
2014-14 City Council Member/Municipal Employee

A Council member 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.


2014-17 County Sheriff
A 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.

2014-19 State Regulatory Agency
A State regulatory agency may employ someone who owns five % stock in a regulated company and whose spouse is employed in the regulated industry.

2014-22 State Death Investigator
State death investigator may provide services to his 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
The 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
A 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
A 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. 

2015-06 State Ratings Officer
A State ratings officer may conduct federal rating examinations of her spouse’s region based on the specific facts presented. 

2015-10  Code Enforcement Officer
A City code enforcer is prohibited from acquiring property within the city which he/she regulates without an exemption.

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. 

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. He may not use confidential information acquired in the course of his official duties.

2017-09 Cabinet Secretary

A Cabinet Secretary may own 20 percent stock in a health care consulting firm and a company that leases a building to the health care consulting firm.  


2017-12 County Commissioner
A County Commissioner may be appointed to the parks board and serve as an uncompensated member of a Convention and Vistior's Bureau ("CVB").

2017-17 County Planning Commission Members 
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 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. 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 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
A County Airport Authority member may work for a local hotel and serve on the chamber of commerce board.  The Ethics Act does not generally prescribe who is eligible to serve on a public body.  

2019-27 City Council Member

A City Council member may represent a client in traffic code violations before the city’s municipal court. 

2019-28 Pre-candidate for Sheriff
A Sheriff may con​tinue to operate a real estate business that leases and sells property 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 State Appeals Board member

A State Appeals Board member may serve as a member of a Political Executive Committee.  


2021-12 Municipal Officials ​
A Mayor must recuse himself from matters rel​ated to a for-profit emergency services organization to which the municipality makes annual appropriations because he is an officer and/or a board member.   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 Commissioner 
A County Commissioner may be a municipal judge 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 
A Board of Health member may be an unpaid member of the board of directors of a nonprofit hospital/health system even when the only other health system in the County is not represented on the Board of Health.​

return to index

___________________________________________________________________________________

Confidential Information


​2000-02 Municipal Hospital Board Member

A Municipal Hospital Board Member is not disqualified from serving on the hospital board because she owns a competing OB-GYN medical practice; she may not vote or use confidential data about the hospital's OB-GYN activities.


2002-08 County Board of Education member

A County Board of Education member may bid on a BOE contract after her term expires but may not use confidential information to her advantage.  Revolving door and prohibited representation provisions are not applicable.​


2012-36 State Employee

State employee may contract with State of West Virginia to compile official papers of former Governor.  Does not have control over contract. Does not have access to confidential information related to contract award.


2012-38 Part-time Appointed Member of a Review Commission
May not use confidential information acquired in course of official duties to further own personal interests or the interests of another person; and must recuse self from all matters relating to subject property.

2013-03 Solid Waste Authority
Member/banker who has been directly involved in approving loans for Board Member/waste hauler within past 12 months must recuse himself from matters affecting Member/waste hauler, unless he is affected as member of class of five or more.

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.

2013-30 State Agency Commissioner (overruled, in part, by AO 2022-19)
The Commissioner of a State Agency that promotes and regulates live dog and horse racing throughout the state may not retain a 20% ownership interest in a horse that will compete in WV.  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.

2013-39 Former State Employee
The Ethics Act contains a one-year “cooling off” period which prohibits certain high-ranking government officials and employees from registering as Lobbyists for one year following their departure from government. The Ethics Commission has no statutory authority to grant exemptions. The Ethics Act’s revolving door prohibition is inapplicable to this former state employee, but he may not use or reveal any confidential information from his past position.

2013-54 State Agency Employee
Staff attorneys for a State Agency may serve as Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys. The salary for the Assistant Prosecuting Attorney was not paid by the county Prosecutor’s Office, but by the State Agency. Therefore there is no prohibited private gain and the use of acquired information does not constitute knowing and improper disclosure.

2014-08 Appointed Member of County Solid Waste Authority
A SWA member 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 the lawsuit, and he must not use confidential information obtained through his/her public position to further private interests.​

2014-18 Retired State Agency Employee
A former state 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.


2021-22​ City Council Member

A City may bar audio recordings of executive sessions of public meetings, and a public official may record.  The Ethics Act also does not prohibit a public official from audio recording executive sessions, but the recording may not be improperly disclosed or used to further the official's own interests or the interests of another person if it contains confidential information


return to index​

____________________________________________________________________________________




1989-05 Legislator

A Legislator may contract with the state.


1989-10 City 

A City may not contract with a council member, firefighter, or public works director, without an exemption. 


1989-10 Supp. City

A City may not contract with a bank in which a member has more than a limited interest without an exemption.


1989-13 Board of Education

A BOE may not contract with businesses owned by BOE employees and/or their spouses without a contract exemption. (W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d) has since been amended, so no exemption is needed.)


1989-15 Prosecutor

A part-time Prosecutor was granted an exemption to use county facilities for his private law practice.  (Obsolete).


1989-17 City Hospital Employee

A City hospital may only contract with an employee’s printing business if the hospital gets a contract exception.  (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.)


1989-20 Legislator

A Legislator may be a member of the WV Broadcasters’ Association’s Board even though it holds state agency contracts.   


1989-21 Legislator

A Legislator may contract with or work for a foundation that pays him with grant money due to exceptions in the Act.


1989-25 City Employees

City employees may not apply for rehabilitation grants from the city without an exemption.  (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.)


1989-26 City Mayor and Employees

Mayor and employees received contract exemptions because their car dealership, sanitation service business, and printing business were the only ones available. (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.)


1989-30 City 

A City may seek a contract exemption to buy emergency supplies from the Mayor’s store and to use a council member’s wrecker service.


198​9-33 A County Commissioner

A County Commissioner's accounting firm may not hold a contract with an entity when the services will be paid for with grant money the Commissioner helped secure.


1989-37 Board of Education

A BOE may contract with the American Red Cross for training BOE staff even though the BOE director is the chair of the American Red Cross.


1989-41 Legislator

A Legislator may provide engineering services to state agencies and state political subdivisions. 


1989-42 Legislator

A Legislator may be paid by the state for court-appointed legal work.


1989-44 City Council 

A City Council was granted an exception to buy one-of-a-kind items from a council member.


1989-48 Board of Education

A BOE may buy vehicles from the father of a teacher who is not dependent on her father. (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.)


1989-49 Board of Education

A BOE may not contract with an employee’s husband for vending machines without an exemption. (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.) (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)


1989-50 Board of Education

A BOE may not contract with an employee without an exemption. (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.) (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)


1989-52  Board of Education

A BOE may not contract with an employee’s husband’s sanitation business without an exemption. (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.) (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)


1989-54  Board of Education

A BOE may not contract with an entity for which the BOE is the fiscal agent without an exemption.


1989-57  Board of Education

A BOE may contract with a grocery store that employs a BOE member.  He had only a limited interest.  (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)  


1989-65 City 

A City may not  buy a truck from a council member’s dealership without an exemption.


1989-66 City 

A City was granted an exemption to use car wrecker services from a council member’s dealership when other providers were closed.


1989-67 University Board of Trustees

A University was granted a limited blanket exemption to contract with facility, staff, and trustees.


1989-68 Board of Education

A BOE was granted an exemption to use a BOE employee’s spouse’s towing company. (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.) (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)


1989-70 Board of Education

A BOE may not contract with a bank in which a BOE employee has more than a limited interest without an exemption.  (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.) (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)


1989-71 Board of Education

A BOE may not contract with an employee’s husband for attorney services. (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.)  (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)  


1989-73 City Manager

A City may not contract with a bank in which the city manager has more than a limited interest without an exemption.


1989-74 Legislator

A Legislator may provide consulting services to a county commission. 


1989-81 County Commission

A County Commission may not do business with a bank where a commissioner is a board member without an exemption. (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)


1989-83 County Probation Officer

A probation officer may provide consulting services for a business that does not do business with his agency.


1989-84 State Commissioner

A State Commissioner may accept rent funds originating from federal and state funds.


1989-85 State Economic and Development Department

The State Economic and Development Department may not do business with a bank where a commissioner’s wife has more than a limited interest, without an exemption.


1989-86  State Department

A State department may contract with a business that employs a department supervisor’s wife.  Her employment created only a limited interest.


1989-87 County Housing and Redevelopment Authority

The Executive Director of a county housing and development authority may work part-time for a company that is not regulated by nor does business with the authority. 


1989-89 State Commission

A State Commission may not have a contract for marketing and advertising services with a commissioner even if it is paid for with grant money without an exemption.


1989-90 Board of Education

A BOE may not contract with a lumber and hardware company that employs a BOE member’s spouse without an exemption. (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.)  (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)  


1989-91 Board of Education

A BOE may contract with a service station when the owner’s relatives are BOE employees.  (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.)


1989-92 Board of Education

A BOE may not contract with a school principal to be a computer consultant to other principals without an exemption. (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.) (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)  


1989-93 Board of Education

A BOE was granted an exemption to buy trophies from a business owned by an employee. (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.) (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)  


1989-94 City Council Member

A City Council may not do business with a bank wherein a council member has more than a limited interest  without an exemption.


1989-100 State Political Subdivision

An employee of a state political subdivision may serve on a state commission that provides funding to the subdivision.  Public agencies are not businesses. Public funds create a public contract.


1989-101 Prosecuting Attorney

A Prosecuting Attorney may be paid for serving as the secretary of a public service district. (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 was not considered.)  


1989-102 Public Service District Member

A PSD member’s spouse may work for the PSD due to the public employment exception. (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 was not considered.)  


1989-103 State Employee

A State employee may serve on her agency’s advisory board.


1989-104 Board of Education

A BOE may not use quasi public funds to contract with a BOE employee’s business for a different school.  (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.)  (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 was not considered.)  


1989-109 Board of Education

A BOE was granted an exemption to contract with a car dealership owned by a BOE member’s spouse based on undue hardship. (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.)  (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 was not considered.)  


1989-110  Board of Education

A BOE was granted an exemption to contract with a business owned by a BOE member’s spouse based on undue hardship. (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.)  (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 was not considered.)  


1989-112 Board of Education

A BOE was granted an exemption to contract with a teacher’s spouse for legal services based on excessive cost in training a new law firm.  (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.)  (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 was not considered.)  


1989-113 State Park Commissioner

A State Park Commissioner may have contracts with the Department of Natural Resources but not the Park Commission without an exception.  


1989-115 Board of Education

A BOE was granted exemptions to contract with businesses owned by employees’ and their spouses for gas, services, and vehicles.  (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.)  (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 was not considered.)  


1989-117 Board of Education

A BOE was granted exemption to contract with a computer business owned by an employee.  (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.)  (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 was not considered.)  


1989-119 State Agency

A State Agency may contract with a textbook company that employs an employee’s adult son.   (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.)  


1989-120 Mayor

A Town’s police department  may not use the wrecker services from a company owned by the Mayor without an exemption.


1989-125 County Commission

A County Commission was granted an exemption to use a Commissioner’s car dealership.


1989-126 Delegate

A Delegate may work as an attorney for a private university hospital.


1989-127 County Board of Education

A BOE may contract with a company that employs an employee’s spouse. (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.)  (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 was not considered.)  


1989-129 Board of Education

A BOE was granted an exemption to contract with an employee’s spouse for legal services based on excessive cost in training a new law firm.   (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.)  (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 was not considered.)  


1989-131 County Board of Education

A BOE was granted numerous exemptions to contract with employees and members.


1990-02 Town Council Member

A Town may buy gas and car services from a council member’s adult son. 


1990-03 Board of Education​

A BOE may contract with a business that employs a member’s spouse.  (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)  May not contract with gas company corporation or its subsidiary when BOE member own’s more than 10% of parent company.


1990-05 Board of Education

A BOE may only contract with an employee’s wife with a contract exemption.  (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), has since been amended, so no exemption is needed.)


1990-06 Board of Education

A BOE member may only contract with an employee’s trophy business with a contract exemption. (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees so no exemption is needed.)


1990-08 Board of Education Member

A BOE member may work for an accounting firm used by a school and in which he has no ownership.  

(W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)


1990-09 A Delegate

A Delegate may own a business that holds public contracts.


1990-11 County Commissioner

A County Commissioner may be paid for legal work he did for a public service district before taking office.

(W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)


1990-15  City

A City may employ a nurse who is married to a lawyer whose law firm does work for the City.  (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.)


1990-16 Board of Education

A County BOE may contract with a photography firm owned by the spouse of an employee at another public agency.   (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)


1990-19 Board of Education

A BOE may continue to contract with an employee’s business that predates the Ethics Act.   (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.)


1990-20 Board of Education

A BOE may contract with businesses owned by a member’s non-dependent children.


1990-24 Town

A Town may contract with a bank in which the mayor has only a limited interest. (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)


1990-26 Board of Education

A BOE needs a contract exemption to contract with a photography studio owned by a bus driver’s spouse.  (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.)


1990-29 Public Service District

A PSD may buy property from a county commissioner’s non-dependent daughter. 


1990-30​ State Employee

A state employee’s dependent kids may sell fish to the public.  (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.)


1990-33 University Purchasing Director

A University purchasing director may sell computers to the university foundation.


1990-34 Airport Authority Member

An Airport Authority member is a part-time appointed official, so he may contract with the authority to sell engine repair services. (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 was not considered.)


1990-34 Board of Education

A BOE may contract with the employer of an employee’s spouse for sporting goods. 


1990-38 College 

A College was granted an exemption to contact with an employee’s spouse for computers.   (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.)


1990-39 Board of Education

A BOE member’s spouse may be a teacher due to the employment exception..  A BOE member who is a dentist may treat employees and be paid by BOE’s insurance.  (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 was not considered.)


1990-40 Board of Education

A BOE may contract with the employer of an employee’s spouse for sporting goods.   (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), no longer applies to all employees.)


1999-41 Superintendent

A BOE was granted an exemption to contact with an employee’s spouse for computers.   (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d), has been modified.)


1990-45 County Economic Development Authority

An EDA may contract with a bank when a member owns $30,000 in stock. (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)


1990-46 City Bureau

A City Bureau was granted an exemption to rent property from the mayor.


1990-49 Board of Education Member

A BOE member’s spouse is not subject to the Act.


1990-50 State College System

State College System’s faculty, staff, and board members may have contracts with the Colleges. 


1990-53  Board of Education

A BOE may contract with a member’s spouse. (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)


1990-57 City

A City may have a contract with an engineering firm that employs a member’s spouse.


1990-68 City

A City may contract with a bank in which a council member has only a limited interest.  $30,000 in stock is not $30,000 interest in a contract.


1990-74 City Council Member

A City Council member may not submit a sealed bid for a city insurance contract.


1990-77 Mayor

A City village may contract with a bank in which the mayor has a limited interest.


1990-83 Board of Education Employees

BOE employees may sell books to schools in the county.


1990-84 Board of Education 

A BOE was granted a contract exemption to buy trophies from the superintendent's business.  (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)


1990-90 County Commission

A County Commission was granted an exemption to rent office space from the county prosecutor. (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)


1990-92 County Board of Education

A BOE may contract with its former attorney’s employer.


1990-93 Public Employees

BOE employees may contract with an education association to be facilitators for a statewide project.


1990-95 County Solid Waste Authority

A SWA may contract with a railroad that employs a SWA member who has only a limited interest in the railroad. (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)


1990-98 Public Service District

A PSD may contract with a bank in which a part-time appointed member has only a limited interest. (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)


1990-99 Board of Education

A BOE may contract with a member’s employer.  (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)


1990-103 Board of Education

A BOE may contract with a gas company that previously employed a member.


1990-105 State Legislator

A Legislator may contract with any branch of state government. 


1990-107 Board of Education

A BOE may contract with a bank when a teacher sits on the bank board. (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)


1990-108 Board of Education

A BOE may contract with a printing business owned by an employee’s spouse. (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)


1990-110 City

A City may not buy vehicles from a council member’s business without a contract exemption.  


1990-119  Board of Education

A BOE may contract with a BOE employee for auditing the BOE’s financial records during the summer.


1990-124 Mayor

A City may contract with the mayor’s nephew’s service station.


1990-125 ​County EMS Director

An EMS may contract with a retirement savings fund given the director’s limited interest.

(W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)


1990-126 County Parks Board

A Parks Board member is entitled to immunity from sanctions under the Act and W. Va. Code § 61-10-15.


1990-129 State Energy Authority

A Board of Investment member may contract with a public energy authority.


1990-134 Board of Education

A BOE may buy a house from a member’s spouse due to a pre-existing contract.


1990-135 City

A City may contract with the municipal judge, but not with the city attorney.


1990-154 Solid Waste Authority

A Solid Waste Authority member may contract with an authority’s vendor. (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)


1990-155 Board of Education Member

A BOE member may sell private insurance to employees.  No coercion allowed.


1990-162 Director of a multicounty vocational school

A Director of a multi-county vocational school may not buy a modular home constructed by his students without a contract exemption.


1990-163 Housing Authority Member

A Housing Authority member is part-time appointed, so the Authority may buy property from a corporation that has a member as a creditor.


1990-164 City

A City may not buy equipment from a council member without an exemption.


1990-194​ State Department

A State Department may contract with an association to oversee state workers at private hospitals to provide Medicaid related services.​


1990-201 County Solid Waste Authority member

A SWA member may contract with a private company regulated by the SWA. (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)

1991-17 State Commissioner

A State Commissioner may own and operate liquor stores that sell liquor to regulated entities.


1991-20 (Supp.)  Board of Education Member

A BOE member may not contract with the BOE as he has direct authority or control over the letting of BOE contracts.


1991-23 State Official

A State Department director has only a limited interest in a company that employs his wife. 


1991-48 Part-Time Public Officials

A Part-time public official may have private contracts with non-profit organizations.


1991-72 City Council Member

A City Council member’s computer company may not contract with the City.  However, an exemption was granted for services not available elsewhere.


1991-92​ City Council Member

A City may contract with a deferred compensation plan company that uses a member’s spouse as an independent sales agent.


1992-03 Prosecuting Attorney

A Prosecuting Attorney may not rent equipment to the County Commission.


1992-08 State Board Director

A State Board director may not lease office space to the Board. No exemption granted.


1992-16 Solid Waste Authority

A Solid Waste Authority may contract with a member’s step-son.  


1992-27 Board of Education

A BOE was granted an exemption to contract with the newspaper in which the superintendent was a major stockholder. 


1992-33 Legislator

A Legislator may have stock in a private company that receives funding from a public corporation.


1992-40 City Building Commission

A City Building Commission may borrow money from banks when members have only a miniscule amount of stock and are part-time.


1992-44 State Authority Member

A State Authority member may serve on the authority because he has only a miniscule amount of stock and is part-time.

1993-03 Legislator

A Legislator is not subject to the prohibited contracts provision, subject to conditions.


1993-15 County Parks and Recreation Commission 

A Parks and Recreation commission may contract with an ATV association even if a commissioner is also an association member.


1993-21 County Vocational School Director

A County director may not have students build his house. 


1993-35​ State Employee

A State agency buyer may contract with a vendor who is represented by the buyer’s wife’s law firm.


1994-05 Community College Faculty Member

A Community College chemistry faculty member may contract with college for environmental technology services.


1994-20 City Housing Authority Member

A Housing Authority member is a part-time appointed official.


1994-22 County Board of Education/RESA Member

A BOE member/RESA member may not contract with RESA or subcontract with the BOE.  May contract directly with vocational school.


1994-23​ Municipal Judge

A Municipal Judge may contract with the city and citizens for real estate appraisal work.


1994-29 State Authority

A State Authority may not contract with its managers for uplink services.


1995-02 State Employee

A State supervisor may not have a contract for psychological services with his public employer because he has control over the contract by monitoring it.


1995-23 Legislator

A Legislator may have a contract with a state agency, subject to not using office for private gain.


1995-35 City Council Member

A former City Council member may not bid for city property that he voted to abandon when he was in office.

1996-03 State Licensing Board

A State License Board may not sublet office space from a board member, unless the member subleases for the same amount as the lease.


1996-15 State Board Member

A State Board member may be employed by a company that does business with his agency due to the “part-time appointed” exception.


1996-31 County Commission

A County Commission may appoint a member’s spouse to the hospital board because the position is uncompensated.


1996-34 State Official

A State agency may lease office space from an official in his agency since the official has no authority or control over the lease.


1996-44 County Board of Education Member

A County BOE member may buy a building from an athletic booster organization.


1996-45 Prosecutor

A Prosecutor may hire his adult child if he follows the nepotism guideline, at W. Va. Code R. § 158-6-3.


1996-49 County Board of Education

A County BOE may purchase textbooks that were selected from a publisher that employs the superintendent's wife due to the pre-existing contract.


1996-51​ State Board

A State board may pay attorney fees to a member’s law firm, due to the “part-time appointed” exception.


1997-09 County Commission

A County Commission may place its legal ads in the only qualified newspaper even though a commissioner is an employee and part-owner of the newspaper. The lack of choice eliminates the commissioner’s authority or control.


1997-23 County Commission/Economic Authority Member

A  County Commission may issue bonds that may benefit a company for which a county commissioner/ EDA member works as the financial interest is too remote to prohibit it. 


1997-27 County BOE Employee

A County BOE Director of Technology may have less than a one percent ownership in a county contract as the financial interest is de minimis.


1997-31​ City Council Member

A City Council member has control over a contract by suggesting the need for the contract, having been involved in the evaluation of potential contract vendors, or having evaluated compliance with contract specifications.  Council has no control over the sanitary board or VFD.


1997-35​ Town 

A Town may purchase the Mayor’s land due to hardship. [non-precedential]


1998-03 Town

A Town was granted an exemption to buy a truck from the city street commissioner at below retail value.


1998-06 A State Board

A State Board may contract with a member’s company under the “part-time appointed” exception.


1998-10 City Council Member 

A City Council member may accept his real estate sales commission from his private employer even if the purchaser receives a forgivable loan from the City, subject to proper recusal.


1998-19​ Board of Education

A Board of Education was granted an exemption to use a BOE member’s towing company in emergency situations. 


1998-24 City Council Member

A City Council member may receive a loan from the City’s Housing Department absent preferential treatment.


1998-29 Town Employee

A Town employee who performs only clerical work may contract with the Town to prepare police activity reports on her own time.

1999-01 State Agency

A State Agency may contract with a labor union to perform certificate testing for crane operators even though most operators in the state are union members. 


1999-02  Multi-county vocational school teacher 

A Multi-county vocational school teacher may not buy a modular home built by his students due to his control over the building process.


1999-10​ City

A City may not contract with the mayor's hardware store because it failed to demonstrate that substantial harm to the City would be certain to occur.


1999-17 County Solid Waste Authority Employee

A County Solid Waste Authority employee who retired may serve on the Authority board because his pension is administered by the state.


1999-18 Regional Planning and Development Council 

A Regional Planning and Development Council may not retain an accounting firm in which a council member is a partner.  Employment exception does not apply.


1999-22 County Ambulance Authority Board Member 

A County Ambulance Authority Board member may be employed by another Authority that sells supplies to the Authority he represents.


1999-27 Mayor and Recorder

A Mayor and Recorder may accept payment for serving on the sanitary board.


1999-38 State Official

A State Official may negotiate a lease that is in a blind trust under unique circumstances.

2000-01  County Board of Education

A Board of Education may not purchase books from a business that employs a BOE member part-time. (Note: Superseded by 2002 amendment to W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 creating exception for a public official or a public employee, or a spouse, who is employed by a supplier or vendor).


2000-07 State Commission’s

A State Commission’s local planning district member is not subject to W. Va. Code § 61-10-15.  May have

a contract under the Ethics Act due to the part-time appointed exception.


2000-12 Regional Airport Authority Members

Regional Airport Authority Members are not subject to W. Va. Code § 61-10-15.  Under the Ethics Act, a contract may be awarded to the member's employer because the member lacks ten percent ownership interest.  The member may not vote on the contract. (The ten percent ownership exception is no longer in the Ethics Act.)


2000-13 County Board of Education

A County Board of Education may purchase gas transported through lines owned by the Member's employer under W. Va. Code § 61-15-10 because it is the sole source of that service available to the Board.  Not prohibited under the Ethics Act because the member lacks ten percent ownership interest. 

The member may not vote on the contract. (The ten percent ownership exception is no longer in the Ethics Act.)


2000-14 County Board of Education

A BOE may not employ the superintendent's spouse as a part-time football coach.  Exception in W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 for spouses’ employment as teachers does not include coaches. 


2000-16 Board of Education

A BOE may continue its existing contract with a BOE member to maintain a tv satellite system he installed before becoming a member, so long as there is no modification of the contract’s terms and conditions.


2000-18 County Board of Education Member

A BOE member may serve as an uncompensated coach within the county school system.​


2000-23 County Board of Education Member

A County Board of Education Member may purchase electricity from the spouse's employer that was the sole source of electricity, but may not vote to pay bills from the utility company.


2000-24 County Board of Education

A County BOE may allow a vocational teacher to purchase parts and supplies for the auto shop program from a local automobile dealership where a board member is employed, so long as no funds controlled by the Board of Education are being spent. 


2000-25 County Board of Education

A BOE may not contract with a non-profit hospital that employs a BOE member’s spouse under W. Va. Code § 61-10-15.  The Ethics Act does not prohibit the contract.


2000-30 County Board of Education

A BOE may contract with a private college that employs a member to use its pool because it is the sole source of local indoor pools.


2000-31County Prosecutor

A County Prosecutor may not be paid for legal work done for the County Commission under W. Va.

Code § 61-10-15.  The Ethics Act does not prohibit the contract.


2000-32 City Council Member

A City Council member may not vote on a matter that affects a client of the law firm in which her spouse is a member.  Public servants have a financial interest in the financial affairs of their spouse. [This decision was based on Legislative Voting Rule, Title 158, Series 9, which has since been repealed.]


2000-36 County Economic Development Authority

A County Economic Development Authority ("EDA") may not lease or sell property to a business that employs a board member under W. Va. Code § 61-10-15.  (Note: Superseded by 2002 amendment to W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 creating exception for a public official or a public employee, or a spouse, who is employed by a supplier or vendor). The Ethics Act does not prohibit contract.


2000-41 County Board of Health

A County Board of Health may sell a health delivery service to a non-profit on whose board a board of health member sits.  The Board member should be recused from consideration of what organization to sell the service.  


2001-03 County Board of Education

A Board of Education may contract with a hospital that employs a BOE member’s spouse to provide free training for students. (non-precedential.  A 2002 amendment to 61-10-15, creating an exception for salaried employees of a vendor, may apply.)


2001-07 County Employee

A County project coordinator is not subject to W. Va. Code § 61-10-15; employee may oversee a project involving an engineering firm that employs her husband’s employer; but may not show preferential treatment to the employer.


2001-08 County Board of Education Employee

A County BOE employee may contract with the BOE to provide speech therapy to students after hours. 


2001-09 County Commission

A County Commission was granted an exemption, based on undue hardship, to contract with a newspaper that was substantially owned by a commissioner for running county legal ads .  [See 2002 Amendment in W. Va. Code  § 61-10-15(i)​ adding an exception for newspaper legal advertisements.]


2001-11 Board of Education Superintendent

A BOE Superintendent is subject to W. Va. Code  § 61-10-15 which would prohibit BOE contract for dairy services with the superintendent’s spouse's employer, but the Board may continue under a pre-existing contract.  The Ethics Act does not prohibit a contract with a spouse's employer. (Note: Superseded by 2002 amendment to W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 creating exception for a public official or a public employee, or a spouse, who is employed by a supplier or vendor).


2001-12 Board of Education Superintendent

A Board of Education Superintendent is subject to W. Va. Code  § 61-10-15 and the Ethics Act, and both would prohibit a BOE contact with the superintendent for fuel , but the contract may continue under a prior existing contract so long as there is no modification of its terms. 


2001-17
 County Commissioner

A County Commissioner may not rent to tenants whose rent is subsidized by a housing authority program.  May continue existing leases so long as there is no modification of its terms. 


2001-24 County Commissioner

A County Commissioner may serve on the county’s public transit authority and accept statutory compensation. (Distinguished by Advisory Opinion 2019-07 which restricted compensation that was not nominal and was set by the county commission).


2001-28 Board of Education Member

A BOE member may contract with a behavioral health center that receives BOE funding.  


2001-30 Board of Education Member

A BOE member may be employed by a private school that receives benefits from the BOE pursuant to federal law.


2001-33 Board of Education Member

A BOE member may serve as a volunteer judge for school speech teams and be reimbursed for her travel expenses. 


2002-02 County Board of Education 

A BOE may contract with a hospital that employs a BOE member to provide drug testing when there is no other alternative.  Contract is permissible under the Ethics Act because employment is not prohibited.  (Note: Superse​ded by 2002 amendment to W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 creating an exception for public officials and public employees who are employees of suppliers and vendors). 


2002-03 County Commissioner ​

A County Commissioner may work for a non-profit hospital that may receive county funding because the hospital is not a public agency and does not have public employment contracts.  (But see Advisory Opinion 2021-10 (prohibiting contract with non-profit CVB.)


2002-08 County Board of Education Member

A BOE member may bid on a BOE contract after her term expires but may not use confidential information to her advantage.  Revolving door and prohibited representation provisions are not applicable.


2002-09 County Board of Education

A BOE may award a contract to the hospital where a member’s spouse is employed under the Ethics Act, and pursuant to the “salaried employee” exception in W. Va. § 61-10-15(e).


2002-10 County Board of Education

A BOE may contract with the superintendent's wife's employer due to the 2002 exception for salaried employees, in W. Va. Code § 61-10-15(e).  The superintendent's ministerial actions of signing checks and other non-discretionary routine logistical matters are not enough to bar the contract.


2002-11 County Solid Waste Authority candidate

A County Solid Waste Authority ("SWA") candidate may join the Authority’s Board while it continues to pay off a pre-existing debt owed to the candidate's spouse, so long as there is no modification to the terms of the payoff.  


2002-15 County Board of Education

A BOE may buy building materials from a retailer who bought the materials from a BOE member’s employer because the member’s  financial interest is fixed and immutable when he makes the sale to the retailer.   (But, see Advisory Opinion 2017-11).


​2002-17 County Board of Education

A BOE may buy school supplies from the company that employs the BOE Treasurer’s spouse as a sales representative.  Contract pro​vision of the Ethics Act does not apply to spouses, and W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 (e), the salaried employee exception, applies to spouses.


2002-19 State Board

A S​tate Board may not lease office space from its executive director; but was granted an exemption due to financial hardship to the Board.


2002-20 State Board

A State Board may not lease office space from its executive director; but was granted an exemption due financial hardship to the Board.

2003-01 Town Council 

A Town Council may not contract with its ​mayor to lease property for the city hall.  Granted contract exemption, however, because it would have created an undue hardship on the Town to bar it from leasing the property. 


2003-06 County Prosecutor 

A County Prosecutor, in most situations, may not sell property to the County Commission under W. Va. Code § 61-10-15.  In this non-precedential opinion, the Commission allowed the sale because there was no other option. (Note:  In 2006, the Legislature gave the Commission the power to grant contract exemptions under § 61-10-15.)  The Ethics Act does not prohibit this sale, subject to proper recusal. 


2003-07 County Farmland Protection Board Member 

A County Farmland Protection Board member may  participate in a public farmland program in which the participants receive compensation from the Farmland Board to use their private land for agriculture.  The member must recuse himself. Opinion limited to the particular facts of that case. 


2003-08​ County Commission 

A County Commission, in most situations, may not buy property from a financial institution on whose board a Commissioner sits.  In this non-precedential opinion, the Commission allowed the sale because of the unique nature of the property. (Note:  In 2006, the Legislature gave the Commission the power to grant contract exemptions under § 61-10-15.) ​


2004-02​ Board of Education Member

​A Board of Education member may work for a private licensed child care center for which the BOE provides pre-kindergarten teachers as part of a collaborative federal program.


2004-08​ School Superintendent

School Superintendent has control over all of a school system's financial transactions.  He had a de minimis financial interest in the school system's credit union. (non-precedential)


2004-10A and 2004-10B County Board of Education 

A County Board of Education member may not work for a multi-county vocational school for three counties where the counties jointly operate the vocational school through a seven-member board which includes a Board Member and School Superintendent from each county.


2004-12 Board of Education

A Board of Education may not buy crushed stone from a company owned by a member's spouse and brother-in-law.  While the revenues from potential sales to the BOE represent a limited percentage of the total revenues of the company, they are still more than de minimis.


2004-14 State Board

A State Board may not lease a storage unit from the executive director without a contract exemption.


2004-20 Town Council 

The Town Council may not contract with the spouse of the mayor to perform repair work on the town's water lines.   Granted contract exemption, however, due to four other contractors turning down the project.


2004-25 City 

A City may not purchase real property to use as a public street from a council person without a contract exemption.  Contract exemption was granted based on hardship.


2004-27​ Public Service District

A Public Service District may not, under W. Va. Code § 61-10-15, renegotiate a loan from a bank whose president serves on the PSD.  (The part-time appointed exception under the Ethics Act applies to PSD members).


2004-10A and 2004-10B County Board of Education Member

A County Board of Education member may not work for a multi-county vocational school for three counties where the counties jointly operate the vocational school through a seven-member board which includes a Board Member and School Superintendent from each county.


2006-11 County Prosecuting Attorney

Commission will not grant hardship waiver where contract is prohibited by W. Va. Code 61-10-15 [Note: Subsequent amendment to W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 provides discretion to Commission to grant waivers] 

2007-03 County Assessor 
Continued employment of Assessor’s fiancé' in Assessor’s Office following marriage to County Assessor would not violate (d) but would violate W. Va. Code § 61-10-15.

2007-08 Public School Teacher 
May enter into vending services contract with school system by which he is employed.

2007-11 Municipal Utilities Commission Board Member 
Commission may contract with company owned by part-time appointed Board Member to install water tank, provided Member is recused.

2008-08 City Attorney 
Conflict would arise from spouse's business contracting with city. Full-time City attorney is equivalent to a General Counsel or Prosecuting Attorney with inherent authority over municipal contracting. 

2008-10 County Commissioner 
Contract between County Airport Authority and business owned by County Commissioner not subject to prohibition where Commissioner does not serve on Airport Authority (but see 61-10-15). 

2009-08  Board of Directors of State Agency--overruled​, in part, by Advisory Opinion 2017-22​


2009-11 Assistant Principal
Assistant Principal is subject to the prohibitions in § 61-10-15, so school may not contract with his business.

2010-03 County Board of Education Candidate 

​The spouse of a BOE member may be employed as chief mechanic, a service position that meets the exception in W. Va. Code § 61-10-15.  May not use position to obtain, increase or promote the interests of spouse as a BOE employee.


2010-04 County Board of Education Member

A BOE may contract with a private non-profit when one of the BOE members sits on both the boards. (Other part of this Opinion was overruled by AO 2011-12; common Board member is no longer required to recuse himself and may vote.) May not use position to obtain, increase or promote the interests of spouse as a BOE employee.


2010-06 Public Library Board

A Board member of public library created by Special Act of the Legislature and joint venture of county and city entities is not subject to W. Va. Code § 61-10-15.


2010-10  Board of Directors of a County Authority
Part-time appointed board member may not bid at auction on items sold by board by W. Va. Code § 61-10-15.

2010-14  County Board of Education Member
BOE memberls restaurant may not sell to schools.

2010-15  County Board of Education Member

A BOE member may not be paid to officiate as a sports official in his own county.  A BOE member may volunteer as a referee and receive $1 to obtain insurance coverage.


2010-16 County Board of Education Member 

A BOE member may contract with State Department of Education for online teaching even though some teachers from her county may participate.  BOE’s reimbursement of county teachers’ expenses incurred in taking member’s online course. 


2010-20  Conservation Districts  

May not spend public funds in excess of $1,000 to construct project on an elected board member’s property without a contract exemption.  (Obsolete given changes to statute.)  Not subject to the prohibitions of W. Va. Code § 61-10-15.


2010-21  County Board of Education 

May not contract with a private club in which an elected board member, treasurer and spouse of the superintendent own stock without a contract exemption due to the prohibitions of W. Va. Code § 61-10-15.


2010-24  Board of Education   

A BOE may purchase property owned in part by a Sheriff’s Chief Tax Deputy.  Chief Tax Deputy not subject to W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 since position is neither statutorily created nor require an oath of office.  May not purchase property owned in part by a part-time Assistant Prosecutor without a contract exemption.  Assistant Prosecutor exercises voice, influence, or control over BOE contracts.


2011-01 County Council Member 

​County council member’s business may appraise estates so long she recuses herself from any matters coming before the Council involving the probate of any estate her business has appraised.  Council member’s business may not appraise any estates over which the Sheriff has been appointed by the County Council as the administrator.   Council member’s business should be removed from the Fiduciary Supervisor’s list of available appraisers.  Council member may not appear as a representative or witness before the Council either about the appraised value or the amount of her compensation.

Council member may not accept protected persons from the Sheriff for placement in her nursing home without a contract exemption.


2011-03   County Hospital

​County Hospital, whose members are appointed by the county commission, may modify an existing contract with a city-owned hospital that employs a county commissioner. 


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 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. 


2011-10 County Board of Education (BOE) 

Spouse of BOE Superintendent may not be employed as Director of Student Services.


2011-12 Town Attorney
A Town’s elected officials may vote to appropriate funds to a non-profit organization on which they and/or their family members serve as uncompensated board members and/or officers.  Overruled portion of AO 2010-04 wherein member of a non-profit board was prohibited from voting as a member of the Board of Education.

2011-20   County Commissioner

A County Commissioner may purchase tax liens at a Sheriff's sale or through the State Auditor's Office, or both.  May not purchase a tax lien on property for which the owner requested adjustment of assessed value or other relief from County Commission sitting as the board of equalization and review.


2012-01 Mayor
A City employee/building inspector may be on City Council, but he must perform his Council duties on his own time, not during his public work hours.  City council member employed by city may not vote on a personnel matter which affects him directly as opposed to affecting five or more employees in the same or similar manner.  

2012-02 County Commissioner 
A County Commission may purchasing property from real estate business with which a County Commissioner is associated.   Neither Commissioner nor his immediate family members have ownership interest in property, so there is no prohibited interest. 

2012-03 County Agency
A County agency may employ a supervisor’s son, even though they live in the same house, so long as the Supervisor is completely removed from the hiring process. Supervisor employed by County Agency is not a county officer and therefore is not subject to provisions of W. Va. Code § 61-10-15.


2012-07 Mayor
A Mayor myy not use public resources for the benefit of his private business;  when serving as municipal judge, must: if customer within past six months appears, disclose the fact thereof and recuse himself if either party requests; and recuse himself from cases involving customers within the past six months.


2012-12 Local Board of Health
A Board of Health’s part-time appointed Health Officer may accept patient referrals from the Health Department so long as s/he does not make, participate in making, or in any way attempt to use his or her office or employment to influence a government decision affecting his or her financial or limited financial interest.  Full-time health officer may not contract with own Board of Health unless Board seeks and receives advice or a contract exemption from Ethics Commission.  Local Board of Health formed by a county and a municipality not subject to strict provisions of § 61-10-15.

2012-13 Member of a County Board of Education (BOE)
• May contract with a public university to supervise university students during their placement in public schools in the county where he serves so long as he does not use any public resources, including BOE staff, to perform his private contractual duties. 
• Agreement between public university and BOE not a public contract.

2012-16 County Commission
• Prohibited from purchasing private property from appointed member of County Building Commission. 
Purchase of property from appointed member creates impermissible conflict and a prohibited interest in a public contract. 
• May seek Contract Exemption if it believes the property is only viable option.

2012-24 Mayor 
• May reside with father who is employed by City.
May not exercise supervisory control over his father/city employee.
• May not conduct his father’s evaluations, set his schedule, authorize overtime, or approve father’s direct supervisor’s recommendations which directly affect the terms and conditions of his father’s employment.
Must recuse himself from personnel matters which uniquely affect his father as opposed to matters affecting his father as a class of five or more similarly situated employees.
May participate in collective bargaining agreement negotiations with union of City employees of which father is a member.
Must recuse himself from the negotiation of any provision in collective bargaining agreement which uniquely affects his father, but may vote on the collective bargaining agreement in its entirety.

2012-26  Candidate for County Commission 
•Spouse may not remain employed with County Clerk’s office or by any other county office or agency if Candidate becomes county commissioner.  
•Spousal exemption created by § 61-10-15 (l):
    • does not extend to persons elected to office whose spouses are already employed by County government or County school system
   • only extends to certain spouses who were employed by county prior to their marriage to a county official.

2012-28 Candidate for Prosecuting Attorney 
• If Requester is elected Prosecuting Attorney, spouse may not continue her employment with the Prosecuting Attorney’s office.
• Requester’s spouse may be employed by another county office or agency so long as she is chosen for such a position based on her experience and qualifications, not based on favoritism to the Requester.


2012-29 County Emergency Services Director 
 May not be compensated for performing duties of managing federal grant when those duties are the usual and customary duties associated with County Emergency Services Director.
 May not privately contract with County to manage a federal grant given to County for mitigation projects, when Requester’s duties as County Emergency  Services Director gives him direct authority and control over private contract with County.

2012-30 County Emergency Services Director
 May privately contract with Municipality within County to manage federal grant for mitigation projects when Municipality does not fall under County’s floodplain jurisdiction.
 Does not have direct authority voice, influence, or control over Municipality’s decision relating to grant money, and the expenditure thereof.
Must notify County Commission of contractual arrangement with Municipality; to obtain approval; and abide by any restrictions that County Commission imposes.


2012-32 State Legislator and County BOE Bus Operator 
A Legislator/bus driver may contract with Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA). Bus Operator exercises no control over contract.  Must perform RESA duties on his own time; not during BOE work hours.  May be required to file verified time records with Ethics Commission if RESA duties performed during regularly scheduled BOE work hours. 

2012-34 Public Agency
A public agency may permit employee who was involuntarily denied boarding from a flight while in travel status to accept compensation from airline.


2012-36 State Employee

State employee may contract with State of West Virginia to compile official papers of former Governor.


2012-37 Mayor 

$100/year compensation for serving on City Council de minimis. Appointment to position on Council is  not a public contract.  May vote for candidate to fill vacancy on Council who is a customer of her husband. 

2012-38 Part-time Appointed Member of a Review Commission

An appointed member of a Review Commission may provide referral list of names of companies and individuals as prospective buyers to owners of distressed properties appearing before Review Commission. As part-time appointed public official, he may purchase property from interested person subject to the limitations.

2012-40 Assistant Superintendent
As Assistant Superintendent has voice, influence or control over spouse's subcontract with company that provides services to county school system, therefore contract prohibited.

2012-42 - Conservation District
Conservation District may award $500 scholarship to District supervisor’s child so long as District supervisor recuses him/herself from all participation in selection of scholarship participants.

2012-45 County Attorney 
A private County Attorney has direct authority or control over county’s public contracts contemplated by W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d); has “voice” and “influence” over all county contracts for purposes of W. Va. Code § 61-10-15.  Position not “county office" so not subject to W. Va. Code § 61-10-15.  May not receive additional pay for serving as project coordinator for County Building Commission, absent a contract exemption. 

2012-46 City Council Member 
City may contract with law firm that employs a City Council member, subject to proper recusal.

2012-47 County Commission
County Commissioner may be a voting member of a County Ambulance Authority, a subunit of county government. Should consult with its attorney on whether other laws permit proposed self-appointment, especially when enabling legislation does not specifically authorize self-appointments and position is compensated. County Commissioner does not have prohibited financial interest and may vote on matters affecting the County Ambulance Authority which come before County Commission.

 
]2013-01 Mayor
A City may employ mayor’s daughter, subject to limitations.  Governing body must advertise all positions in which member of body knows in advance that family member is interested therein.  May not supervise any relative or relative’s supervisor. 

2013-09 County Prosecutor 
An Assistant Prosecutor may serve as elected County Commissioner in another County, even if counties are situated in same judicial circuit. 

2013-13 County Commissioner
County Commission is prohibited from leasing its marina to business partner of a County Commissioner even when such marina is unrelated to the partnership. 

2013-19 City Council Member 
 A town council member may not rent a building owned by the town without an exemption.  The prior lease was proper, as the town council member was not a member at the time of original lease. 
The town council must use due diligence, must advertise publicly, offer fair opportunity to compete, and use recent property comparables. 

2013-22 State Employee 
A state employee may enter into a subcontract via his/her private trucking business with a contractor of a state agency; no control or authority over the selection of the state agency's contractor and will not perform work for his/her private trucking business while working for the state agency. 

2013-24 Regional Solid Waste Authority 
A Regional Solid Waste Authority may continue to contract with an insurance agency while the Authority’s Chairperson is Vice President and a principal thereof.  Part-time appointed public officials exception applies.


2013-25 Conservation District 
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.  (Obsolete by statute.)​


2013-27  Teachers
Teachers who served on a Textbook Adoption Committee may not enter into subcontracts with a private textbook company for the purpose of training other teachers in the selected textbook’s use. 


2013-36 County Assessor

A County Assessor may purchase office supplies from a company owned by his employee’s fiancé. The employee has no involvement with supply purchases. 


2013-41 County Employee
A County employee may not serve on County Commission while employed full time by the County Ambulance Authority. 

2013-52 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. 


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. 

2014-02 State Board Members 
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 
An assistant park superintendent may serve at the same park where his/her brother has a contract to operate its marina, with limitations. 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. 

2014-05 County Board of Education

A BOE 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. 

2014-08 Appointed Member of County Solid Waste Authority 
A SWA member, in his/her private capacity, may bring a civil suit against the authority on whose board he/she serves, with limitations. 

2014-09 Candidate for County Board of Education 
A BOE member may be employed as a teacher for a multi-county area vocational center that services the county because the BOE is not the teacher’s employer. 

2014-12 Sheriff 
A Sheriff may not sell unused or surplus weapons directly to the son of a Deputy Sheriff. 

2014-15 State Agency 
A State agency may sell advertising to defray the cost of wellness tools on its website; 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 

A Sheriff's Department may contract with the Sheriff's father-in-law. 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.

2015-05  City Council Member 
A City council member may continue her lease agreement with the city building commission as long as she does not serve on the city building commission or participate in the appointment of members to serve on the building 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.

2016-06 County Public Service District
A contract exemption is not required when board members’ pecuniary interests are de minimis.
  


2016-12 County Prosecutor
A County Prosecutor does not have a prohibited financial or pecuniary interest in his mother-in-law’s building’s sales agreement; therefore, the purchase of the building by the County Commission is permissible under W.Va. Code § 6B-2-5(d) and W.Va. Code § 61-10-15.  

2017-02 County Commissioner
A Commissioner’s company may not provide contractors with materials for a Parks and Recreation Commission project.


2017-04  County Commissioner
A County Commissioner may not be employed by a public library to which the county commission provides funding. The commission’s appropriation to the library constitutes approximately 7 percent of the library’s budget which, for purposes of § 61-10-15, constitutes the exercise of voice, influence and control over the library’s contracts.  

2017-10 A County Commissioner's Company
A County Commissioner’s company may sell construction materials and supplies to county contractors to use on non-county projects.

2017-11 A County Commissioner
A County Commissioner may not knowingly sell his products to contractors or subcontractors to use for county projects.  The Requester must take reasonable precautions to ensure that his products are not sold to county contractors or subcontractors to use for county construction projects.   

2017-12 A County Commissioner
An employee or board member of a county parks board may be employed by a Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (“CVB”) or serve on a CVB board even if the parks board provides some in-kind support to the CVB.  A parks board member who is also employed by the CVB may not vote on the appropriations of money or the awarding of a contract to the CVB.

2017-22 A State Agency
A part-time appointed state board member whose spouse has a finder’s fee agreement with property owners applying for inclusion in the board’s conservation easement program may serve on the board or one of its subcommittees, but must recuse himself from all board and subcommittee matters involving conservation easement applications.   Overrules, in part, Advisory Opinions 2009-08 and 2011-18.

2018-05 Potential Board of Education Member
A BOE member would not have sufficient voice, influence, or control over her employment contract with WVU Extension Service to prohibit serving as a Board of Education member, if elected, given the BOE’s limited appropriations to WVU Extension Services and the Requester’s lack of power to make appointments to her local extension service committee 

2018-07 A County Commission
A County Commission may allow the Sheriff to live rent-free in a house located in the county park because the Sheriff’s presence would enhance security at the park and he would repair and maintain the house.

2018-09 A City  
A City council member does not have a prohibited interest in a city’s proposed public contract to purchase property adjacent to the member’s residence and 28 other residences because the benefit to the member is not selective, differential or in disproportion to the benefit provided to the other 28 owners.  The member may deliberate and vote on the purchase as a member of a class because he is similarly situated to the other 28 owners.

2018-10 Board of Education
A BOE member may continue to be employed by a staffing agency to perform work for a textbook company in other counties when that company markets textbooks and educational materials to the BOE member’s Board of Education.  The BOE member meets the exemption provided to public officials who are employees of a vendor or supplier under W. Va. Code § 61-10-15(e).

2019-04 A City 
A City may not make purchases from a Fire Chief’s business, either directly or through a reimbursement request from the VFD, if he had been involved in the purchasing decisions because the part-time appointed official exception would not apply.  The City may make purchases from the Fire Chief’s private business if it is willing and able to remove him from participating in decisions involving the purchase of equipment or supplies for the City’s Fire Department and/or the VFD.  

2021-11  A City
City Council members may apply for and receive grants from the City’s Small Business Grant program, even though they may have direct authority and control over the program, because the grant is not the type of contract the Legislature intended the Ethics Act to prohibit.  Businesses owned by City employees may also receive grants through the program. 

2021-13​ A County Board of Education Member
A BOE member may be employed as a teacher by a private nonprofit school which contracts with the BOE to provide educational and behavioral health services to students in the County School System due to a five-part exception in W. Va. Code § 61-10-15.   Discusses the rules on voting on the BOE budget as it relates to the nonprofit school and the prohibition on voting on invoice payments to the nonprofit school. 

2021-21​ County Board of Education
A BOE member may vote on matters affecting a customer of his private construction business when the member is not associated with the business of the customer and does not have a direct and immediate financial interest in the matter. (partially overrules Advisory Opinions 2005-12 and 2012-07)

2022-01 State Commission Member 
​A State commission may contract with a person who serves on another state board that provides administrative support to the state commission due to an exception in the Act for part-time appointed officials and because the​ state board member had no involvement in awarding the contract. 

2022-14​ State Agency General Counsel 
A State Board may contract with a law firm in which its General Counsel’s spouse has an ownership interest that is less than a five percent, but the General Counsel must remove herself from participating in the contract award process if her spouse’s law firm submits a bid. 

2022-15 County Board of Education Member
A BOE member may serve concurrently as​ an unpaid volunteer coach for a public school in the same county without violating W. Va. Code §§ 61-10-15 or 6B-2-5(d).  But see the restrictions in W. Va. Code § 18-5-1a(a)(2).

2022-21 State Legislator 
A State Legislator may serve as legal counsel, through a law firm that employs him, to a county clerk's office located within his legislative district.  


____________________________________________________________________________________

1991-67 Circuit Clerk

A County Clerk may not accept an appearance fee or reimbursed expenses from the court and be paid by his public employer.


1998-17 State Official

A State Official may not accept statutory per diem for serving as an ex officio member of a Commission that is part of his official duties for which ​he is already paid.

1999-27 Mayor and Recorder

A Mayor and Recorder may accept payment for serving on the sanitary board.


1999-30 County Commissioner

A County Commissioner may accept compensation for his unrelated full-time appointment to a state board.


2001-​36​ State Employee

A State Employee may accept compensation for jury duty.

2006-06 State Legislator
Pay from private employer permitted during Legislative session, if consistent with job duties

2008-05 County Parks & Recreation Commission
A golf pro employed at a public golf course may accept pay for private lessons if he clocks out before conducting the lesson.

2012-36 State Employee

  • May contract with State of West Virginia to compile official papers of former Governor.
  • Does not have control over contract.
  • Does not have access to confidential information related to contract award.
  • May not use public resources, including Requester’s own time and subordinate staff, to perform the duties of the contract.
2013-04  County Commission
  • Performing multiple job functions for same County Employer does not constitute illegal “double dipping.”
  • The source of funding for multiple jobs with same County Employer does not affect determination.
  • Ethics Act does not require separate time keeping for each job function. 
2013-42 County Employee
A County Geographic Information System Coordinator is not prohibited from contracting to perform similar work on behalf of municipality because he makes no regulatory or policy recommendations to either the county or municipality. Some limitations apply: Municipal work must be on his/her own time, using private resources; he/she may not use county staff for private work. 


2021-17​ A City

City employees, including part-time and seasonal employees, were prohibited from accepting tips from members of the public under W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(c)(prohibited gifts), (m), and (h)(6​) (prohibited extra compensation) because members of the public were doing business with the city and the employees were being fully compensated by the City.

   ​


return to index

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Employment Restrictions


1989-21 Legislator​

A Legislator may contract and work for a foundation that pays him with grant money due to exceptions in the Act.


1989-22 State Employee

A full-time public employee is subject to provision (h) and may seek an exemption.  (Some of the Opinion is based on a prior version of the Act at (h)).


1989-23 State Employee

A full-time public employee is subject to provision (h) and may seek an exemption. (Some of the Opinion is based on a prior version of the Act at (h)).


1989-24 Public Employee

A full-time public employee’s employment ends when he is no longer actively handling agency business.  Subject to post-employment revolving door and prohibited representation restrictions.


1989-39 Staff Attorney

A full-time state attorney working for the Tax and Revenue Department needs an exemption to seek work with a law firm that is regulated by the Department.


1989-45 State Department of Education

State Transportation Specialists may be employed by private trucking companies to administer driving tests while off-duty.


1989-58 Board of Education

A BOE curriculum specialist may be paid by a publisher to review a book.  [But see amended statute, (h) which prohibits employment with vendors.] 

 

1989-64 State Commission

A State Commission may contract with its former director for services.


1989-83 County Probation Officer

A County probation officer may provide consulting services to companies in another county.


1989-87 County Housing and Redevelopment Authority

The Executive Director of a county housing and development authority may work part-time for a company that is not regulated by nor does business with the authority. 


1989-96 State Employee

A State employee may not work part-time for a facility licensed by his agency. (Opinion is based on a prior version of the Act at (h)).


1990-15  City

A City may employ a nurse who is married to a lawyer whose firm does work for the City.


1990-21  Part-time Prosecutor

A part-time prosecuting attorney is not subject to subsection (h) of the Act.


1990-25 College Professor

A College professor may also work as a public accountant.


1990-43 State Biologist

A State biologist may work for a company doing business in another state.


1990-65 State Senator

A Senator may work for a state college.


1990-72 Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

An Assistant Prosecutor may contract with the State for legal services.


1990-81 City Employee

A City employee may serve on city council.


1990-82 State Employee

A State employee may work part-time for a private law firm that the agency does not regulate.


1990-87 City Council Member

A City council member may work for a state park. 


1990-88 County Administrator

A County administrator may not work for the county PSD.  (Based on a prior version of the Act (h), and (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 was not considered.)


1990-89 State Inspector

A State inspector may work for a business unrelated to his agency’s regulatory power.  


1990-97 County Commissioner

A County Commissioner may perform real estate appraisals for banks who do not do business in the county.


1990-120 Board of Education Superintendent

A Superintendent may work for a credit union used by BOE employees.


1990-123 Board of Education Member

A BOE member may work for the county assessor’s office.


1990-127 Foresters

State foresters may not consult with landowners the agency regulates even during private time.  (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(h), has been modified.)


1990-130 County Commissioner

A County Commissioner may work for a city water treatment plant.


1990-138 State College Board 

A State College System board may contract with a member's employer, a gas company.


1990-142 Board of Education

A BOE may contract with a member’s brother-in-law.


1990-149 State Department 

Employees of a state department may not be paid for providing training during their free time that is provided for free by the department.


1990-150 State employee

A State employee may not lease equipment to persons regulated by his agency.  (The relevant provision of the Act, W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(h), has been modified.)


1990-157 Sheriff - part-time

A part-time Sheriff may be employed by a resident care facility for security services.


1990-170 Solid Waste Authority

A Solid Waste Authority may hire its chairperson. (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)


1990-174 Board of Education

A BOE may hire a member’s spouse.  (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)


1990-183  Board of Education Member

A BOE member may privately contract with school employees regarding workers compensation injuries.  Not a public contract. (W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 not considered.)


1990-188​ State Department Employees

Part-time State employees may work for regulated agencies.


1991-03 Educational Broadcasting Authority

The State EBA’s staff engineer may have contract work with a non-profit associated with the EBA..


1991-04 Legislator

A Legislator employed by a Board of Education may use an OSE day to attend a legislative session.


1991-06 Legislator

A Senator may be paid by his private employer during a session.


1991-07 County Employee

A County appraiser in the Assessor’s Office may own a real estate business.  She should not appraise property in which she has an interest.  


1991-16 Solid Waste Authority Member

A SWA member may work for the county health department inspecting private septic systems and for the SWA.  (“Close friend” category is no longer part of nepotism restrictions.)


1991-17 State Commissioner

A State Commissioner may own and operate liquor stores that sell liquor to regulated entities.


1991-21 City Council Member

A City Council member may work for the City.


1991-22 A State Conservation Officer

A State conservation officer may own and operate a bail bond and private investigation corporation but may not use confidential criminal records to which his state job gives him access. 


1991-27 Public Employee

A State employee of the Waste Management section of the Division of Natural Resources may own and operate an asbestos lab when it does not do business with entities regulated by his agency.


1991-29 County Housing Authority Executive Director 

A County Housing Authority director may also work as the manager of the county block grant funds.


1991-45 State Solid Waste Employee

A State employee with the Solid Waste Authority Board may serve on a city’s sanitary board.

 

1991-51 Legislative Employee

A Legislative employee may work for a  lobbying association while on annual leave.


1991-52 City EMS Employee

A City EMS employee may work as an investigator as his clients would not be regulated by the EMS.


1991-54 State Employee

A State employee may seek a job with a governmental agency that is regulated by the state department.  


1991-60 County Health Department Sanitarian 

A Sanitarian may not work for a company that does business with businesses regulated by the Health Department.


1991-61 Assistant Attorney General

An Assistant Attorney General that represents state agencies in litigation and legislative matters may work for a private law firm not involved with those matters. The AG only regulates consumer protection and antitrust.


1991-69​ State Attorney/Assistant Prosecutor

An Attorney for a state agency may also serve as an assistant prosecuting attorney, another governmental position.


1991-71 State Administrative Assistant

A State administrative assistant may work for a sales company his agency does not regulate or work with.  [But see amended statute which prohibits employment with vendors.] 


1991-76 Public Employee

A Public employee may not rent property to a regulated tenant.  Leasing is considered employment.  (Limitations in provision (h) were limited in 1995 to apply only when employees or their subordinates regulate a person.)


1991-78 Legislator

A Delegate may accept his regular salary from his BOE employer minus his legislative salary during the session.


1991-79 Part-Time Prosecuting Attorney

A part-time prosecutor may represent a county development board.  [Note that W. Va. Code § 61-10-5 was not considered.]


1991-82 State Trooper

A State Trooper may be paid for consulting on a rescue mission movie in his private time .


1991-83 Public Employee

A BOE employee who oversees the anti-drug programs may work for a foundation he does not regulate.  [But see amended statute which prohibits employment with vendors.] 


1991-90 Legislator

A Legislator may not be paid by his employer to introduce and advocate for legislation which is part of his official duties.


1991-91 County tax Deputy

A County tax deputy may form a business to collect city taxes.


1991- 94 Legislative Attorney

A part-time legislative attorney may continue being paid by his law firm during session his salary reduced by his per diem.


1992-02 Public Employee

State mine inspectors who regulate a mine association and may not be paid by association for training.


1992-07 Legislator/Solid Waste Authority Member

A Legislator may be a Solid Waste Authority member. 


1992-10 County Prosecutor

A County Prosecutor may not employ his spouse as assistant prosecutor.


1992-19 Public Employee

A public employee word processor who performs only ministerial work may seek and hold part-time employment with a private court reporter used by his public employer.


1992-23 Part-time Public Employee

A Part-time public employee is not subject to the employment limitations in the Act.


1992-26 City Council Member

A City Council member may work as the city building inspector.


1992-30 Legislator/Teacher

A Legislator/teacher may accept a $100 stipend from a state agency for training on his private time. 


1992-36 Deputy Tax Assessor

A Deputy Tax Assessor may serve on a BOE.


1992-39 Board of Education Employee

A BOE employee may work for a toy company that the BOE does business with, but is not regulated by, the BOE.


1992-43  Part-time Prosecuting Attorney

A part-time Prosecuting Attorney may not work privately for the board of education as he is already required by statute to work for the BOE. 


1992-45 State Employee

A State employee may not work for a business that is regulated by the agency but not by him or his subordinates.


1992-48 County Commissioner

A County Commissioner may not work for a solid waste authority when 2 of 5 members are appointed by commission.


1992-49 State Employee

A State employee may work for another state agency without an exemption.

1993-17 State Agency Director

A Director of the Tax and Revenue Department may not work as a mediator for state citizens as the department regulates them. (Limitations in provision (h) were limited in 1995 to apply only when employees or their subordinates regulate a person.)


1993-18 Elected State Official

A state official may serve on the state Board of Investments and privately sell mutual funds and stocks.


1993-33 City Council Member

A City Council member may be employed by the Public Service Commission, which as a government agency, is not a “person.”


1993-34 City Sanitary Board member

A Sanitary board member’s company may construct private sewage systems that are regulated by the board.


1993-51 State Employee

A State employee with the Division of Rehabilitation Services may be referred clients from the Workers Compensation Fund for private disability evaluations.


1994-21 City Housing Authority Member

A Housing Authority member’s son may work for the authority under the executive director.  


1994-25 Prosecuting Attorney

A Prosecuting Attorney does not regulate private citizens and may serve as a trustee.  [But see W. Va. Code § 7-7-4.]


1994-31 State Employee

A Public employee may work for a family regulated by his agency because his duties are not regulatory. (Limitations in provision (h) were limited in 1995 to apply only when employees or their subordinates regulate a person.)


1994-36 Sheriff

A Sheriff may hire a former county commissioner.


1995-01 Board of Education Member

A BOE member’s spouse may be employed as a school nurse per statutory exception.


1995-07 State Senator

A Senator may host a one-hour weekly talk show for no compensation.


1995-08 Planning Commissioner

A Planning commissioner may work with commission staff regarding free plans he prepared for the Parks Department. [See also W. Va. Code § 8A-2-4(e).]


1995-13 Board of Education Employee

A BOE Psychologist may not provide counseling services for a fee after hours to children he is expected to serve in school without charge.  May provide unsolicited counseling services to parents.


1995-15 City Employee

A City supervisor whose subordinates regulate the zoning of a construction site may not work for the contractor.


1995-22 County Solid Waste Authority Member

A Solid Waste Authority member’s spouse may not work for the authority.  (But see exception, in (g), allowing working for entities regulated by the PSC.) 


1995-24 County Commissioner

A County Commissioner’s wife may not work for the county commission or the sheriff's office.  His emancipated son may.


1995-31​ State Employee

A State employee may work for a corporation that has a member who has a regulatory action unrelated to the corporation against the agency.


1995-33 State Employee

A State regulatory employee may seek employment with a consulting firm not subject to his or a subordinate’s action even if the firm's clients are.


1995-36 County Planning Director

A County planning director may work for a municipality.


1995-45 County Economic Development Attorney

An EDA attorney may represent county commission employees in his private time.


1996-13 Teacher

A Public music teacher may not give private lessons to his students as that is already part of his public job duties.


1996-16 University Professor/State Board member

A University professor may serve on a state board in his private time and receive per diem compensation.


1996-18 Public Attorney

A Public attorney may handle pro bono cases on his private time.


1996-21 State Employee

A State employee may seek part-time work from another state agency without an employment exemption.


1996-22 County Health Department Member

A County health department member’s spouse may not be employed by the health department. (Note:  W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 exception now permits this employment.)


1996-23​ County Commissioner

A County Commissioner may not be employed by the county hospital.  His spouse may not be employed by the PSD.


1996-24 Board of Education Member

A Board of Education member may privately employ another BOE member.


1996-30 Town Council Member

A Town council member may be employed by the town as a police officer. 


1996-32 State Employee

A State employee may not work for or own more than 10% of a business he or his subordinates regulates.


1996-37 Police Chief

A Police chief is not regulating a festival when the city is providing routine police services during an event.  Therefore, the chief may contract privatety with the festival organization.


1996-38 State Police Officer

A Police officer may own a towing company outside of his work location.


1996-52 County Assessor

A County Assessor may not be employed for survey work by a person who owns land in his county.


1996-55 Legislator

A Legislator (part-time) may work for a private development company.


1997-02 State Official​

A State Official may accept commissions from a regulated person if he earned them before taking office. 


1997-06 City Sanitary Board Member

A City Sanitary Board member may be an employee, subject to proper recusal.


1997-04 State Trooper

A State trooper may own a towing company in his jurisdiction, but the company may not service his agency or persons he is regulating, such as a driver he pulled over for speeding.


1997-08 State Regulatory Agency Employee

A State employee who performs only clerical, ministerial work may sell real estate to a person regulated by her agency but not by her.


1997-12 State Official

A State official may continue to receive retirement stipends from a bank for his prior work.


1997-17 County Board of Health Member

A County Board of Health member (and his private employees) may not represent his own company before the board.


1997-21 Legislator

A Legislator may be employed by any private or public entity, absent the misuse of his prestige or office to get a job.


1997-26 Public Official

A Public official may not maintain 20 percent ownership of a company that contracts with businesses regulated by the public agency.  May work for his spouse's non-regulated company provided he has no contact with regulated companies served by the spouse's company. 


1999-23 Legislator 

A Legislator may not be employed by a county board of education to secure grants from the state.


2000-22  County Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) Member

A County Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) Member may appear, under W. Va. Code §6B-2-5(g), in a representative capacity before the County Planning Commission, a separate entity.​


2001-35 State Employee

A State Employee, who is a forester, may not work as a paid consultant for, or be employed part-time by, anyone who is regulated by him or one of his subordinates.

2002-08 County Board of Education member

A County Board of Education member may bid on a BOE contract after her term expires but may not use confidential information to her advantage.  Revolving door and prohibited representation provisions are not applicable.


2003-04​ Mayor

A Mayor may be temporarily employed by the city as the city manager.  Mayor has a clear financial interest in the matter, so his recusal is required. 


2006-03 State Administrative Law Judge (h)
May not represent individuals he regulates in his private law practice

2009-07  County Commissioner (g)

A County  Commissioner, a private attorney, may prepare wills, but must fully recuse himself from County Commission's probate there​of;  may not appear in a representative capacity in any probate proceeding before the County Commission, even if uncontested; and may testify as witness to will's validity before County Commission but must recuse himself from decision-making on any such will.


2009-10  State Employee (h)
A State employee whose employer has accreditation oversight of institutions of higher education may be compensated for teaching a course at a public university under conditions.  

2011-04 Per Diem Legislative Attorney   
A per diem Legislative attorney who is an Independent contractor is not covered by the Ethics Act.


2011-14  Candidate for County Assessor

Assesssor may not continue career as owner and broker of real estate business within county where he will serve; may continue in other counties 


2012-03 County Agency 

A County agency may employ a Supervisor’s son, even though they live in the same house, so long as the Supervisor is completely removed from the hiring process.  Supervisor employed by County Agency is not a county officer and therefore is not subject to provisions of W. Va. Code § 61-10-15.  General rule:  Public servant should not supervise a relative. Supervisor employed by County Agency may supervise son on emergency calls and while in the field.

2012-04 Attorney for Municipal Water Board--Overruled, in part, by AO 2016-04.

Chairperson of Municipal Water Board may be employed by Board after resigning as Chairperson.  Job description so narrowly tailored that only Board’s Chairperson qualifies fails to satisfy requirements of nepotism guidelines.

2012-07 Mayor
A Mayor may not use public resources for the benefit of his private business; may not solicit private business from subordinates; may not distribute promotional materials concerning his private business from his office and/or in City/Town Hall.

2012-17 Presiding Officer of a H​​ouse 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.
2012-18 Registered Lobbyist
A person is not required to register as lobbyist on behalf of client who retained her to provide advice on State procurement process and to serve as a liaison to a State Agency during client’s efforts to successfully bid on State contract. Statutory definition of “lobbying” excludes procurement lobbying.

2012-19 Member of the Legislature
A Legislator may be retained to provide consulting services to Public University during and after his term of office.  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.

2012-36 State Employee
A State employee may contract with State of West Virginia to compile official papers of former Governo on her private time as she does not have control over contract.

2012-48 State Licensing Board 
  • May not hire candidate for executive director when candidate rents from Board Member who is also subject to the Board’s regulation. 
  • Although candidate received property exemption to lease from Board Member, its terms require him and his subordinates to be removed from all matters affecting Board Member. 
  • Impossible for candidate to comply with requirements of property exemption due to Board’s small staff, administrative structure, and business relationship between candidate and Board Member.
2013-02  County Board of Education
A School coach may privately employ School Principal. Restrictions apply.  Prohibition against direct solicitation of business from subordinate relates to commercial transactions such as sale of goods or services, not employment. 

2013-04 County Commission
Employee performing multiple job functions for same County Employer does not constitute illegal “double dipping.”

2013-05 County Assessor 
Assessor may not work for property owners or businesses within same county in which s/he is Assessor, due to regulatory control over all property owners and businesses within county.

2013-08 County Prosecutor
Prosecutor's wife may work as school nurse in same county due to statutory exception in § 61-10-15.   County Prosecutor has voice, influence, and control over Board of Education contracts.

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.

2013-37 Civil Service Board Member
A Civil Service Board member may not sit on the board while he/she is employed by    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.)

2013-34 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.

2013-35 Housing Authority Inspector/Mayor
A Housing Authority may continue to employ a part time inspector who was recently elected Mayor of a nearby town, with limitations.

2013-41 County Employee
A county employee may not serve on County Commission while employed full time by the County Ambulance Authority.

2013-42 County Employee
A County Geographic Information System Coordinator is not prohibited from contracting to perform similar work on behalf of municipality because he makes no regulatory or policy recommendations to either the county or municipality. Some limitations apply: Municipal work must be on his/her own time, using private resources; he/she may not use county staff for private work.

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.

2013-54 State Agency Employee
Staff attorneys for a State Agency may serve as Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys. The salary for the Assistant Prosecuting Attorney was not paid by the county Prosecutor’s Office, but by the State Agency. Therefore there is no prohibited private gain and the use of acquired information does not constitute knowing and improper disclosure.

2014-04 Assistant Park Superintendent
State 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.

2014-19 State Regulatory Agency
AMay 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.

2014-26 Sheriff's Tax Deputy
A Sheriff’s Tax Deputy may operate a business in the evenings and on the weekends which would provide county taxpayers the ability to pay their taxes early, a service the Sheriff’s Office does not perform.

2015-01 Legislator
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. 

2015-02 Legislative Attorney
Legislative attorney may register as a lobbyist after the termination of his employment with the Legislature without being subject to the one-year waiting period subsequent to the termination of public employment or service. 

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. 

2015-15 Board of Education
W. Va. Code § 61-10-15 prohibits a County Board of Education from employing the Superintendent’s spouse as a literacy coach.     

2015-18 State Employee
A state employee may accept a $2,000 award, a plaque and travel reimbursements.” Prohibition against receiving private compensation for performing public job is inapplicable.

2016-04 City
A city may continue to employ its mayor as city administrator.  The city may not show favoritism or give special treatment in making employment or personnel decisions affecting the mayor in his capacity as city administrator.  The mayor must recuse himself from the vote and deliberation on personnel matters which directly affect him. The Ethics Commission overrules AO 2006-05 and AO 2012-04, in part.

2017-12 A County Commissioner
County Parks Board member may be employed by a Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (“CVB”) or serve on a CVB board even if the parks board provides some in-kind support to the CVB.    A parks board member who is also employed by the CVB may not vote on the appropriations of money or the awarding of a contract to the CVB.

2018-06 Fire Chief 
A deputy fire marshal may lease and operate a private club that is subject to the City’s fire code as long as neither he nor a subordinate of his inspect or investigate matters concerning the club.

2018-10 Board of Education Member
A BOE member may continue to be employed by a staffing agency to perform work for a textbook company in other counties when that company markets textbooks and educational materials to the BOE member’s Board of Education.  The BOE member meets the exemption provided to public officials who are employees of a vendor or supplier under W. Va. Code § 61-10-15(e).

2019-16 Employee of State Agency 
A full-time state employee who regulates holders of unclaimed property, such as insurance companies, may moonlight for a private consulting firm whose clients include the same insurance companies he regulates, but on unrelated matters, provided that he does not perform his private services for these insurance companies.

2019-23 County Airport Authority member
A county Airport Authority Board member may work for a hotel that uses or benefits from the public services provided by the Authority.

2020-01 State Agency 
A state agency’s technician may not provide private services to persons which currently have a “matter” on which the technician or a subordinate is working.  Persons whose management practices are being verified for payment by the technician and persons f​or whom the technician completes ranking forms used to approve program applications constitute “matters” on which the technician is working.  Providing routine services in the form of technical assistance and recommendations to individuals on how to install best land management practices do not constitute matters on which the technician is working.  


2021-18 Community and Technical College President

A County commissioner may be employed by a community and technical college because the county commission does not appoint the college’s board members or appropriate money to it.


2022-09 County Commissioner ​

A County Commissioner may be employed as the operations manager for a nonprofit county rescue squad because the County Commission does not appropriate money to the rescue squad and only appoints one of its nine members.


2022-10 County Assessor 

An Assessor was not permitted to accept compensation for his employment services from the Association under W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(h)(1).  He was permitted, however, to accept funds from the Association and use them to cover his travel expenses because the conference would increase his job knowledge and skill, which would significantly benefit the Assessor’s Office and the public. ​


2022-21 State Legislator 

A State Legislator may serve as legal counsel, through a law firm that employs him, to a county clerk's office located within his legislative district.  


return to index

__________________________________________________________________________________

Endorsements


1998-22​ State Agency

A State Agency may be referenced in a private company’s brochure that does not contain a product endorsement.

2000-19 State Agency

A State Agency may not allow a software vendor to pay for training expenses of its employees in exchange for being a reference account endorsing the vendor.  No overriding public benefit.


2000-21 State Employee

A State Employee may not give a letter of recommendation containing laudatory terms to a trainer for his law enforcement training.  She may discuss the merits of the training program with other current or potential users who may contact her.


2002-18 State Agency

A State Agency may not allow one of its dogs to be featured in a dog food commercial.  There is no overriding public benefit.


2003-03 County Commission 

A County Commission's free use of vehicles in a  "rolling billboards" program may violate the private gain provision, absent an overriding public benefit.


2003-09​ City Council 

A City Council's free use of vehicles in a  "rolling billboards" program may violate private gain provision, absent an overriding public benefit.


2013-06 State Agency
Staff may meet with vendors to learn more about their products or services.  Agency head my not recommend a particular vendor, with limited exceptions.  If State has sole source contract with vendor, then Agency may advise counties that terms of State contract require using particular vendor(s) or product(s).  If asked, Agency head not prohibited from communicating to county his opinion on quality of vendor’s services.  Agency head may not endorse vendor absent an overriding public benefit. 


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.
2015-13 County Commissioner
Public officials may recognize businesses and individuals for contributions to economic development and charitable purposes by attending “ribbon cuttings” and through resolutions or proclamations. Providing testimonials or favorable reviews of a business’s products or services is not permissible. Official may post portrait photograph and of attendance at public events on official social media. AO does not set a limit on the number of photographs of a public official that may appear on an agency’s social media. Ethics Act does not restrict use of personal social media. Public officials may not use public resources to manage or post on their personal or campaign social media. 

2015-17 State Agency
Public educators may not appear in a software vendor’s promotional video and articles demonstrating how West Virginia teachers and students use the vendor’s products without violating the prohibition against public officials’ commercial endorsements of a product or business.

2015-21 State Agency
A State Agency may contract with a vendor to provide flat screen monitors which will broadcast public service announcements and paid advertising in its regional office lobbies if: (1) the agency selects the vendor in accordance with applicable purchasing laws; (2) the advertisements do not include political advertisements or feature persons or the names of persons who are candidates for public office; (3) the agency includes a disclaimer to ensure that the advertising does not constitute a prohibited endorsement, and (4) public service announcements from other agencies may not contain the name or likeness of a public official.  The sale of advertising under these circumstances does not constitute the prohibited solicitation of a gift.  

2016-10 County Clerk
  • May authorize private organizations to use her name and public job title when recognizing her for personal donations she makes to charitable events. 
  • Public officials/employees may not use public job titles if employed by a charitable organization on whose behalf they are soliciting.
  • Public officials/employees may not solicit gifts for a charitable purpose if there is a direct pecuniary benefit to an immediate family member.
​2017-20 Municipal Police Officers
A municipal police chief may allow police officers to participate in a "Coffee with Cops" event held by a local fast-food restaurant where the pu​rpose of the event is to promote community relations and outreach programs.  Attending the event is not an improper endorsement of the restaurant because a reasonable citizen would not find that the officers were promoting the restaurant. 

2017-24 Director of a State Agency 
Ethics Act does not prohibit the state agency from including a link on its website to its cyber liability insurance producer for the benefit of non-state entities.  The agency must, however, allow equal access on its website to all producers for cyber liability insurance and include a disclaimer explicitly stating it is not endorsing the producer, any insurance carrier or its services or products.  


2021-05​ County Commission

​The Ethics Commission held that a County may have paid advertisements on its tourism websit​e.  The sale of the advertisement must be made in a fair and even-handed manner.  The County should consider including a disclaimer on the tourism website stating that the advertisements should not be construed as an endorsement by the County of any business.  ​The County may give local hotels free advertising on the same website because ​they are responsible for collecting and remitting the hotel occupancy tax and these taxes will be used to pay for the website.​​


2022-11​ State Agency

A State Agency may post a list of employee suggested restaurants on its wellness website because there is an overriding public benefit in promoting employee wellness and morale and the posting does not, therefore, constitute an improper endorsement. 


return to index

____________________________________________________________________________________​


 Financial Disclosure


1989-116 City Council Member

A City Council member must disclose the source, but not amount, of income of $5,000.


1989-72 Director of the Fund

Directors of the Fund must file financial disclosure statements. Must report gifts to spouses.


1990-​01 Official’s Designee to State Fund

An Offiicial’s designee is not an appointee and need not file FDSs.


1990-36 Judicial Branch Employees

Judicial branch employees are not exempt from filing FSDs.  (Overruled)


1990-42 Public Defender Services Corporation

One Director of the PDS is required to file annual FDSs.


1990-55 County Surveyor

A County Surveyor must file FDSs.


1990-165​ Public official

A public official must disclose the name of the investment company or business from which he/she received over $5,000, but not the names of individual stocks or clients.


1990-169 County Officials

County officials may allow a financing company to pay for a trip to New York City for a closing.  Need not report a gift.


1993-13 Circuit Court Judge

A Circuit court judge must file an annual FDS.  The Commission has no authority to grant exemptions.


2004-15 Soil Conservation District Supervisors 

Soil Conservation District Supervisors need not file financial disclosure statements.  (Per a statutory change, soil conservation district supervisors (conservation district members) are now elected officials who must file.  W. Va. Code § 19–21A–6​).​​ (Obsolete by statute change.)


2008-01 Candidate for Public Office 

  • Must disclose veteran’s disability benefits exceeding $1000 annually 
  • May describe as “federal benefits” or “veterans benefits” on form
2014-13 Division Director of a State Agency
  • Must comply with the requirements of W.Va. Code § 6B-2-6, as his current job title is among those specifically listed as a title which is mandated to file a Financial Disclosure Statement.
  • The statutory requirement is clear and concise, not open to interpretation, and the Ethics Commission does not have the authority to excuse the application of this statute.
2017-03 State Agency
The State Agency's directors and deputy directors are required to file Financial Disclosure Statements.


2017-06 Manager of a Legislative Office
The Manager and employees of a Legislative Office are not required to file Financial Disclosure Statements pursuant to W.Va. Code § 6B-2-6(a)(3) because that provision describe positions only in the executive branch of state government. AO overrules 90-36

2019-05 A State University Employee
An employee of a state university is not required by the Ethics Act to file a Financial Disclosure Statement. 


2022-13 State Board's Executive Director

A State Board's Executive Director and Board Members do not have to disclose on their financial disclosure statements that a foundation paid their attendance and travel expenses for a foundation training conference because the foundation does not have a direct and immediate interest in a governmental activity over which the State Board has control.​


return to index

____________________________________________________________________________________


Gifts - Acceptance and Solicitation


1989-12 Legislative Employee

A public employee may not solicit food and beverages for a training conference.


1989-31 Legislator

A Legislator may accept meals and beverages from an association during its annual conference.


1989-38 Legislator

A Legislator may accept travel expenses from the association for its attending a conference under some circumstances.


1989-40 Board of Education Members

BOE members may accept free passes to some school-related cultural events, but not to athletic events.

1989-46 Legislators

Legislators are subject to the prohibited gifts provision.


1989-47 Legislators

Legislators may accept nominal gifts, including a day book having a value of $3, from an association.


1989-51 Legislator

Legislators are entitled to the meals and beverages exception.


1989-53 Legislator

Legislators are entitled to the meals and beverages exception.


1989-63 County Commissioner

A County Commissioner may not accept an honorarium.


1989-69 Legislator

A Legislator may attend a seminar, reception, and dinner sponsored by a corporation due to the meals and beverages exception.


1989-75 County Commissioner

A County Commissioner may not accept a free parking pass from the airport authority because the commission regulates the airports. 


1989-82  Legislator

A Legislator may accept meals and beverages from a chamber of commerce during its breakfast meeting for legislators.


1989-88 State Employee

A State employee may not accept personal rewards of free hotel stays from the State’s travel club that does business with her agency. 


1989-97 Board of Education

A BOE member may not accept an honorarium.


1989-108 Legislator

A Legislator may accept a $10 show ticket 


1989-111 Public Employee

A Public employee may solicit for the Salvation Army, a PTA, and a local church.  He may not solicit subordinates.


1989-114 State Legislator

A State Legislator may accept a $2 calendar from a lobbyist. 


1989-121 State Legislator

A State Legislator may accept a dinner from a company sponsoring a seminar. 


1989-122 Legislator

A Legislator may solicit for a charitable non-profit where he works if the funds do not benefit him.. 


1989-123 Board of Education Employee

A BOE employee may solicit for a charitable organization.


1989-124 State Public Defender

A Public Defender may accept handmade leather gifts from an inmate that are purely private and personal. 


1989-126 Delegate

A Delegate may not accept an honorarium, but may accept a fee for CLE seminars.


1989-130 Legislator

A State Legislator may accept meals and beverages from an association sponsoring a seminar. 


1990-07 State Director

A State director may accept a book valued at less than de minimis amount.


1990-14 Board of Education Member

A BOE member may receive a gift on behalf of a nonprofit. 


1990-18 State Employees

State tourism employees may accept meals and lodging from state parks and ski resorts while job training; but  may not recommend them to the public.


1990-23 Delegate

A Legislator may solicit donations for programs to supplement salaries of professors.


1990-32 Legislators

Legislators may accept luncheons from the Chamber of Commerce due to the meals and beverages exception.


1990-58 Public Employee

A Public employee may accept an honorarium under some circumstances.


1990-61 City Police

City Police officers may solicit for the Special Olympics.


1990-62 State Delegate

A Delegate’s payment for work is not an honorarium or gift.


1990-73 Delegate

A Delegate may work for a non-profit as an administrator who solicits donations for free medical services.


1990-96 Legislators

Legislators who are panelists at association’s convention may accept travel reimbursement.


1990-113 University Purchasing Director

State Purchasing directors may accept paid expenses to visit a carpet factory in Georgia.  


1990-118 Legislator

A Legislator may accept reduced travel rates when on state business because it benefits the state.


1990-128 BOE Director

A BOE transportation director may accept a paid trip by a bus manufacturer to see the bus factory.


1990-143 State Employee

A State supervisor may allow its computer vendor to pay for a trip for computer training.


1990-151 Board of Education Members

BOE members may not receive free entrance into athletic school events by county employees.


1990-161 City Council Member

A City council member may accept tickets for basketball games from a private university in exchange for selling tickets to the public.


1990-168 State Cabinet Secretary

A State official may implement the United Way Campaign for state employees under guidelines.


1990-169 County Officials

County officials may allow a financing company to pay for a trip to New York City for a closing.  


1990-172 Public Employees

Public Employees may accept gifts from a professional association that are not funded by prohibited donors.  Otherwise, this would be an improper indirect gift from an interested person.


1990-175 County Clerk

Public employees may not solicit another employee for a supervisor’s gift, but may voluntarily contribute to the gift.


1990-175 supp County Clerk

A County Clerk’s Office may accept a gift from a law firm even though it is an interested person.


1990-176 County Commission

A County Commission may not solicit funds for deputy training events, but may accept them as a department gift from a law firm. 


1990-179 State Board of Education 

State employees may solicit funds for adult learning technology, ADLT.


1990-182 Senator

A state Senator may accept a bouquet of flowers from a lobbyist because the gift was personal.


1990-187 Board of Education Members

BOE members may accept ticke​ts from the secondary school district activities commission for athletic events at county school.  


1991-09 Public Employee

A public employee may not accept a $500 bonus for serving as an executive director of a non-profit when his public employer may contract with the private members of the association.  It would be a prohibited indirect gift.


1991-11 State Employee

A State employee of the oil and gas division may accept educational tours and paid expenses from associations whose members the division regulates.


1991-13 A County Prosecuting Attorney

A Prosecuting Attorney may not accept an indirect financial gift from a citizen.


1991-33 Governor

The Governor or his/her designee must notify the Commission the location of a gift.


1991-39 Deputy Secretary

A Deputy Secretary may accept a paid trip to a conference by an association since his state agency was willing to pay travel expenses due to public benefit.


1991-47 Legislators

Legislators may not accept an entrance fee for a golf tournament from the chamber of commerce.  The Commission may not grant exemptions.


1991-56 State Employee

State employees working in departments that do not regulate rafting companies may accept a discounted rate from them.


1991-64 Legislator

A Legislator may not solicit donations for a non-profit vocal group.


1991-70 Public Employee 

A public employee or official may accept a plaque given its inconsequential resale value.


1991-75 Public Employee

A Public employee may accept a personal gift of free accommodations from a vendor who is his friend’s employer as a personal and private gift.


1991-84 Legislator

A Delegate may solicit donations to relocate a local community college as it is charitable in nature.


1991-85 County Administrator

A County Administrator may accept personal gifts from subordinates.


1992-06 County Commission

A County Commission may solicit donations for animal shelters, but not for a drug dog.


1992-34 State Official

A State official may not solicit subordinate employees even for charitable donations but may solicit vendors, subject to restrictions.


1992-35 Legislator

A Legislator may accept payment of airfare from an interested person if the trip would have been paid for by the Legislature.


1992-37 Public Employees 

Public employees may solicit for bullet-proof vests for law enforcement, a charitable purpose.


1992-38 A Legislator

A Legislator may accept free admittance to a health fair for private business purposes.


1992-41 BOE Superintendent

A BOE Superintendent may accept free passes to school events when attendance is part of his official duties.


1992-50 Public Employees

Public employees may not solicit for an electronic bulletin board.


1993-07 Association Members

Public employees who belong to an association may not solicit for a computer integrated courtroom as this is not charitable.


1993-08 City Employee

A City employee may solicit for recreational and community programs that benefit disadvantaged youth, a charitable purpose.


1993-10 Public Officials

Public officials may solicit businesses to loan executive employees to improve a department’s management practices.


1993-11 County Board of Education Member

A BOE member may not solicit donations for a defense fund in a removal case against him.


1993-19 Legislator

A Legislator may accept reimbursement for expenses incurred from a university leadership development program.


1993-22 Prosecuting Attorney

A Prosecuting attorney may not solicit donations for a polygraph machine and training because it is not a charitable purpose.


1993-24  State Commission

A State commission may use voluntary payroll deductions for donations to United Way.  See also Advisory Opinion 1990-168.


1993-30 County Board of Education Superintendent

A BOE Superintendent and members may solicit, or have a private committee solicit, contributions for an athletic facility as it is a charitable purpose.  


1993-31 County Solid Waste Authority

A Solid Waste Authority, but not the members, may accept interest free loans from a regulated business.


1993-44 Legislator

A Legislator may accept a trade magazine subscription as it provides informational value.


1994-01​ County Commissioner

A County Commissioner may solicit donations from hospitals for hepatitis vaccinations for VFD members.


1994-10 Legislator

A Legislator may not accept a free trip to a riverboat gamling facility.


1994-14 Public Servants

Public servants may solicit donations for an adult and elder abuse conference available to the public, a charitable purpose.


1994-26 Cabinet Secretary

A Cabinet Secretary may implement an employee contribution campaign to solicit donations for the United Way.


1994-28​ County Library

A County library may solicit donations from the public or vendors for upgrading its building, a charitable purpose but may not solicit subordinate employees.


1994-39 State Employee

A State employee may not accept a gift card over $25 to a restaurant from a vendor; the donor must be present.


1995-03  A Sheriff

A Sheriff may not accept a gift from a deputy sheriffs’ association because the purpose of the association is to address concerns about sheriffs.


1995-07 State Senator

A Senator may accept a political endorsement.  A Senator may accept an offer from a TV station to be a weekly talk show host.


1995-17​ Historic Landmark Commission Member

A Commissioner may solicit donations to buy a statue, which is a charitable purpose, for the county courthouse lawn.


1995-18 State Agency

A State agency may not solicit donations, accept as a gift from interested persons, or sell ads for social events at conferences.


1995-20 State Employee

A State employee may donate a prohibited gift to a charitable organization.


1995-26 City Urban Renewal Authority Member

A City CURA member may accept a golf outing as a personal gift due to the history of gifts over the years.


1995-27 State Official

A State official may solicit donations for an aerial photograph of the state only if the public has access to the photos.


1995-29 State Officer

A State public relations officer may solicit door prizes for informational booths at a state fair regarding environmental protections, a charitable purpose.  (This Opinion is non-precedential.)


1995-40  Association of State Police

A Troopers association may not accept a gift of free advertising from a citizen of more than $25 even though there are 600 association members. 


1995-43 Law Enforcement Association

Telemarketing funds may not be used for the operation of the association or to lobby for increased pay and benefits to its members.


1995-46 State Employee

A State employee may sponsor a petition to enact legislation, subject to the lobbyist provisions of Act, and solicit reward money to protect white deer, a charitable purpose.


1995-49 State Employee

A State park employee may accept a gift from a customer of the park. [Overruled in Advisory Opinion 2021-17.]


1995-51 State Employee

A State employee may accept a door prize valued over $25 at a conference also made available to private association members. 


1995-53 County Commissioner/PDS Member

A County Commissioner may solicit funds for a public service district given its enabling legislation.


1996-04 Public Official

A Public Official may not solicit gifts for state conferences.  Solicitation means “seeking to obtain something by direct persuasion or by petitioning persistently.”  Mass mailing of form letters encouraging participation in events is not a solicitation.  This opinion is non-precedential. 


1996-07 Legislator

A Legislator may accept an unsolicited gift from a non-profit of a cassette on film history that was made for educational purposes. 


1996-08 State Agency

A State agency may not give employees a 25% discount on merchandise sold at retail.


1996-19 City

A City may solicit donations for a city pool as a pool is a charitable purpose.


1996-20 City

A City may not solicit donations for a sound system for city council meetings.


1996-28 State Agency 

A State agency may solicit monetary donations from area businesses and individuals to fund a conference relating to civil and human rights. 


1996-36 Public Employees in Association

Public employees who are in a professional association are still subject to the Act.  May not solicit for educational activities of its members.  May sell raffle tickets and bake sales to fundraise for the training.  May not solicit door prizes for training conferences.  Scholarships for poor children are charitable.  May accept donations from chambers of commerce as it is not an interested person.


1996-42 County Airport Authority Member

An Airport Authority member may accept a waiver of his landing fees that he incurred on official Authority business from a private company.  Benefit flows to Authority and not to the member.


1996-46 County Board of Education

A BOE may become a customer of the PSD with which the assistant superintendent is associated.  This opinion is non-precedential. 


1996-47​ State Police Trooper

A State trooper may accept a 15% discount offered to all law enforcement officers from a retail store that is not a state vendor.


1997-19 Chief of Police

A Chief of Police may solicit donations for community policing events and bicycle helmets as both have a charitable purpose.


1997-24 State Employee

A State employee may accept a purely private and personal gift from a person regulated by his agency.  [non-precedential]


1997-25​ Public Servant

A Public Servant may not solicit donations for a related professional association’s conference.

1998-18 County Public Service District

A PSD member may accept a free trip to a vendor’s seminar related to wastewater treatment equipment because it would enhance his job skills.


1998-23​ A County Board of Education Superintendent

A County BOE Superintendent may not accept an honorarium from a vendor/publisher when it is given in exchange for work performed.

1999-14 Higher Education Coach

A Higher Education coach may accept a bonus from the school's booster organization.


1999-20 State Employee

A State Employee may not accept a free $40 ticket from a vendor to see a prominent journalist speak at a luncheon.  “Meals and beverages” exception does not apply.


1999-24 County Commissioners

County Commissioners and employees may not solicit donations for a vehicle for litter control.


1999-25 State Agency

A State Agency and employees may not solicit donations for a seminar training but may sell ads or fundraise.


1999-28 Director of a Regional Service Agency 

A Director of a Regional Service Agency (RESA) may not accept a free trip to a seminar in California from a software company due to no overriding public benefit.


1999-32 State Agency

A State Agency may not solicit donations for a statewide celebration of the state's birthday.


1999-37 State Agency

A State Agency that provides healthcare to poor children may solicit promotional materials.


2000-05 State Elected Official

A State Elected Official may send letters of support for “West Virginia Celebration 2000” to people who have previously expressed interest in the event, although it is a non-charitable event.


2000-06  State Agency

A State Agency may sell advertising space at a conference to vendors at graduating fees correlating with increased levels of display area.  


2000-26 City Council

A City Council may accept an offer from a privately-owned utility to pay for a special election that is required to sell the city’s water system.  


2000-29 Association of Public Employees Members

Public employees may not solicit donations from vendors for a conference aimed at enhancing job performance as this is not a charitable purpose. 


2000-39 State Agency

A State Agency may hire an employee to solicit donations for renovating a museum and to perform some work for the museum foundation as this is a charitable purpose.


2001-14 State Licensing Agency

A State Licensing Agency may not use employees to seek financial support for a noncharitable project from vendors, regulated persons, licensees, or the general public.  May apply for grants.


2001-16 County Commission Members and Employees

County Commission members and Employees may not travel to Japan to visit the headquarters of the county’s largest private employer.  Corporation is an interested person as it is financially interested in the Commission’s duties.  May not accept trips without an overriding public benefit.  [See also W. Va. Code R. § 158-7-3.]​


2001-19 State Agency

A State Agency may solicit discounts for products and services for its employee wellness program.


2020-31 State Employee
A State Employee may not solicit private and public financial support to pay for a personal trip to China.


2002-14 State employee

A State employee who estimates retirement benefits by performing only ministerial actions may accept a gift from a retiree she assisted.  The retiree was not an interested person.


2003-05​ Public Employees 

Public employees may use the prestige of office to fundraise for a charitable purpose on behalf of their professional association.  Lobbying for public interest laws, and training to enhance professional competence, are charitable purposes.  Social events at the trainings and the salaries for the association's personnel are not charitable.  ​


2003-13​ State Employee 

A State employee may not solicit donations for a non-profit that promotes family planning, finding that this is not a charitable purpose for purposes of the solicitation restrictions in the Ethics Act.  


2004-09​ University Employees

University employees may accept a 10% YMCA discount as part of its wellness program to reduce the University's overall healthcare delivery costs.  The coordinator may accept a free membership if he volunteers in his free time.  Alternatively, he may serve as coordinator on employer's time. 


2004-24​ State Agency 

A State Agency may sell advertising in its newsletters to defray costs of newsletter.​


2004-28​ Board of Education Member 

A Board of Education member or employee may accept an all expense paid visit to a potential vendor's trade show in Germany to learn about its state-of-the-art printing process that is not available in the US.  Trip would increase the member's job-related skills or knowledge resulting in an overriding public benefit.  (non precedential)  


2005-02 County Board of Health
A Board of Health may solicit donations for public health programs.  Establishes guidelines for non-coercive solicitation

2005-15 
County Commissioner
Proceeds from calendar sales featuring county officers may only be used for charitable purposes

2006-07 State Employee
Hotel stay “door prize” won at conference hosted by State vendor may not be accepted

2007-01 Association of Hunter Education Instructors

Association memebers may solicit donations to support hunter safety education program and program for hunters with disabilities.  Law enforcement personnel may not solicit for charity while on duty and in uniform [NOTE: Overrules AO 2004-07].  Prohibits issuance of window decals or bumper stickers to donors.

2008-06 City Manager
A City Manager may not accept free golf from vendor, consultant or other interested person in conjunction with annual association conference of public employees. Gift limitation applies even if funds from event go to charitable causes.  Authorizes "buy down" which reduces gift to $25 limit

2009-09 State Employee
State Agency employees may not accept a lower lodging rate from a resort which the state agency regulates.

2010-01 Elected member of the Board of Public Works
A Member may solicit donations to underwrite the costs of a national conference and use the funds for meals and breaks, and certain social events, excluding golf. May acknowledge sponsors, but may not attribute an event to a single sponsor; may not indicate amount any sponsor donates. Use of funds Legislature appropriated to pay for attendees' meals does not constitute use of office for private gain.
Opinion limited to Elected Members of the Legislature of Elected Members of the Board of Public Works who are soliciting for national or regional conferences in accordance with W. Va. Code §§ 6B-2-5(c)(6) and 6B-2-5(c)(7).

2010-02  Attorney for City
A City may participate in a vendor's program to provide discount to city employees for personal cell phone use.

2010-05 Public Employees / Higher Ed
Agency's decision to allocate more than $25 to recognize one or more employees, in lieu of expending up to $25 per employee per fiscal year, does not violate the Ethics Act so long as the expenditure on any one employee does not exceed $100, and the total amount expended for this purpose during the fiscal year does not exceed the sum total of $25 per employee. 

2010-11  State Legislator
A Legisator may not accept two free airline tickets won in a random drawing at a public reception hosted by a State Agency for which the Legislature provides funds.  Prohibition against use of office for private gain applies to expenditures by public entities.

2010-19 - Elected Public Official
A Public official may not use public funds to purchase funeral flowers or other expressions of sympathy, including monetary donations. May not solicit subordinate employees for a contribution towards the purchase of flowers or payment into an established office fund. May take up a voluntary donation among co-workers, under certain conditions.

2010-23 County Board of Education
A BOE may not use public resources, including personnel, to promote the passage of an excess levy wherein school personnel are the primary beneficiaries.  County Superintendent, as the appointed voice of the County BOE, may advocate for passage of any excess levy.  County Superintendent’s advocacy for passage of an excess levy constitutes the performance of usual and customary duties associated with the position permitted by the Ethics Act

2011-11 State Agency

A State agency may solicit and accept funds for its recreation department, pursuant to its enabling legislation.  Must comply with Legislative Rule if soliciting vendors.


2011-13  State Agency

Public agencies may not use public funds to pay for health club or gym fees for public servants when the hotel does not provide free exercise facilities to lodgers.  Public servants who participate in a conference or event as a panelist or speaker may not accept payment or reimbursement for health club or gym fees when the hotel does not provide free exercise facilities to lodgers.


2012-06 Elected Member of the Board of Public Works  
A Public official may not endorse business or product of the sponsor of an international government forum that is paying travel expenses related to forum.  Must notify forum participants that the West Virginia Ethics Act prohibits him from endorsing a particular product and that presentation relating to fraud control should not be construed as endorsement of the sponsor’s business or product.  Appearance at international government forum paid for by business which has financial relationship with State provides benefit to West Virginia by allowing State to be recognized for achievements in fraud control and allowing first-hand observation of Australian state governments’ approach to financial management and procurement. 

2012-08 Municipal Police Department
A City police department may not solicit donations to purchase a police canine and gun racks for police cars, but may accept them if unsolicited.

2012-20 Public University  
A University may use public funds to purchase prizes or incentives , including gift cards, for wellness related competitions or promotions to employees.  $25 gift limit not applicable because wellness program administrators are not interested parties to recipients. 

2012-43 Local Health Department
A Health department may serve as pass-through for a grant from a private charitable foundation for the benefit of two private entities that focus on health under some conditions.  Serving as pass-through constitutes performance of usual and customary duties associated with office.

2012-49 County Farmland Protection Board
A County Farmland Protection Board may solicit because enabling legislation express authorizes. Limitations apply.

2013-16 Solid Waste Authority
A SWA 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.

2013-40 Appointed Member of a Statewide Task Force
A Statewide Task force is authorized to solicit funds from business community and foundations on two grounds:  an overriding significant public benefit to education of children of West Virginia, and an Executive Order expressly authorizes fundraising.  Limitations apply: See Legislative Rule (See 158 CSR § 7.7) and Advisory Opinion 2012-49.

2013-46 Municipal Officials and Employees
City officials may not solicit donations of gift certificates from local restaurants to present as gifts to private citizen volunteers due to lack of overriding public benefit. 

2013-49 Municipal Police Department 

A municipal Police Department may seek or accept funds from a private foundation established by a local businessperson for the sole purpose of supporting the Police Department.  


2014-01 County Economic Development Authority
An EDA may solicit and spend funds to underwrite its “County Day at the Legislature,” including expenditures for lunch, transportation, and costs associated with a reception because its enabling legislation authorizes such solicitation.

2014-03 County Hospital
A County Hospital may solicit donations from community businesses, individuals, and other organizations for hospital project to further its mission to protect the health and safety of the public citizens. 

2014-07 Municipality, members of governing body
A municipality may not solicit constituents for donations of cash to purchase food for bereaved citizens. This solicitation does not rise to the level of significant public benefit sufficient to overcome the prohibition against it.

2014-16 City Hospital
A City Hospital may permit employees to raise funds for coworkers experiencing financial hardship as this activity serves a charitable purpose, with limitations. City Hospital may permit employees to sell commercial products, with limitations. Employees may also sell items for fundraising items, with limitations.  In both instances, there may be no coercion, no solicitation of subordinates, no more than de minimis time and resources used for these activities, and announcements must be posted in areas accessible only to employees, not the general public.

2014-21 State Official
A State Agency may award a $100 prize through the use of a drawing of persons who have reported phishing e-mails. ​The Requester’s office also must comply with all other relevant state laws, regulations and statutes which may apply.

2015-18 State Employee
A State employee may accept a $2,000 award, a plaque and travel reimbursements.” Prohibition against receiving private compensation for performing public job is inapplicable.

2015-21 State Agency
A State Agency may contract with a vendor to provide flat screen monitors which will broadcast public service announcements and paid advertising in its regional office lobbies if: (1) the agency selects the vendor in accordance with applicable purchasing laws; (2) the advertisements do not include political advertisements or feature persons or the names of persons who are candidates for public office; (3) the agency includes a disclaimer to ensure that the advertising does not constitute a prohibited endorsement, and (4) public service announcements from other agencies may not contain the name or likeness of a public official.  The sale of advertising under these circumstances does not constitute the prohibited solicitation of a gift.

2015-22 State Cabinet Secretary
A Cabinet Secretary may use staff to handle business and social aspects of a conference his agency is hosting as conference provides an overriding public benefit.  May not solicit donations to fund the conference because it does not constitute a “charitable purpose” under the Ethics Act.

2016-16 State Agency
A State Agency may produce and sell calendars because the calendars fall within the usual and customary duties of the state agency to provide information and education to the public.  The agency may solicit donations on behalf of the state fallen firefighter memorial fund, a charitable purpose.  The agency may not solicit donations to underwrite its duty to provide public education and information.  This Opinion is based upon the specific facts of this request and may not be relied upon in other situations.

2017-07 Manager of a Legislative Office
Microsoft’s Home Use Program “HUP” is not a prohibited gift or private gain to employees due to the following circumstances: HUP is offered to all eligible employees; HUP is not offered to impair the impartiality of employees with the authority to determine whether to do business with Microsoft; HUP is made available to a large group of customers, and HUP adds no additional cost to the public agency.

2018-01 A County Commission
A County Commission may sell sponsorships for park benches is not a gift solicitation but a fund-raising activity based upon an exchange of value either commercial or personal.  Potential sponsors may not be coerced into buying a sponsorship and may not receive unlawful or political favoritism in return for purchasing a sponsorship.

2019-01 State Agency  
A State Agency may solicit funds for the charitable purpose of fostering women’s health and wellness. The Agency may use solicited funds for operating expenses because the programs it administers in support of its mission are statutorily authorized and intended to help the poor and disadvantaged.  The Agency may not have a public official or employee solicit funds for his or her own salary as this action would result in a direct pecuniary benefit to a public official or public employee.

2019-11 Town
A Town may solicit anotehr public agency (the neighboring County’s Sheriff’s Department) for retired police cruisers.

2019-19 County Commission
A County Commission may not accept a donation of materials and labor from a local business to tint windows of its judicial annex if the donation was solicited by a county deputy.  Tinting windows of the judicial annex does not constitute a charitable purpose.

2019-26 A State Agency
A State agency may solicit donations to assist potential foster families in meeting requirements for their homes to become approved foster homes and to fund rewards and incentives to students who display positive behaviors.  Fundraising is not prohibited by the Ethics Act.  

2020-10 City Manager
A City police officer may not accept an all-expense paid trip to an annual sales meeting of a private company when that company is doing business with the officer’s department. 

2020-11 Town Clerk
Town officials and employees may solicit donations from individuals and businesses for the charitable purpose of constructing a veterans memorial.

2021-02 Mayor

Mayor may appear in a video using his name and public title to promote and solicit donations for a local nonprofit drug and alcohol recovery center as it provides a charitable purpose. 

2021-03 Lobbyist
The $25 gift limit does not apply to charitable contributions made by an organization to a nonprofit to recognize a legislator.  The organization’s lobbyist must report the expenditure. 


2021-09​ Chief of Police

The City’s Police Officers may not keep gift cards, valued over $25, given to them by a citizen as an appreciation gift for their service.  The Police Department may keep the gift cards if they are used for a public purpose. 


2021-17 A City

City employees, including part-time and seasonal employees, were prohibited from accepting tips over $25 ​from members of the public under W. Va. Code § 6B-2-5(c)(prohibited gifts), (m), and (h)(6) (prohibited extra compensation) because members of the public were doing business with the city and the employees were being fully compensated by the City. 


2022-10 County Assessor

An Assessor's compensation for work was not an honorarium because​ he entered into a legally binding contract for payment for work as an independent contractor. The instructors must apply for the work through a rigorous application process and teach a course to receive the money.  The payment represents the full value of his services. ​


2022-20 Public Park 
Public Park employees may accept gifts valued at over $25 per calendar year from the Park’s Foundation because it is not an interested person of the Public Park for purposes of the gift restrictions.  

____________________________________________________________________________________

Higher Education

1990-59 College Vice President

A College VP may accept fees for outside consulting services.


1990-60 College Law Professor

A Law professor may be paid for seminars and expert witness work.


1990-109 College Professor

A Professor may require his students to buy his book for class.


1990-116 University

A University may set up a private foundation that benefits the salaries of employees.  May solicit donations as charitable contributions.


1990-117 College Professor

A Professor may require his students to buy and use his software for class.


1990-128 BOE Director

A BOE transportation director may accept a paid trip by a bus manufacturer to see the bus factory.


1990-131 University Teacher

A University teacher may require his students to buy his book for class.


1990-140 College Professor

A Professor may require his students to buy his book for class.


1990-185 Higher Education Director

A Director of a research center at college may be employed as a technical consultant with a company if approved by the college.


1990-192 S​tate Employees

State Employees may not perform work for regulated businesses through a consulting company. 


1996-16 University Professor/State Board Member

A University professor may serve on a state board as a “consultant” on his private time and receive per diem compensation.


1996-54 University Professor/State Board Member

A University professor’s research pursuant to a grant falls under this exception.​


2010-05 Public Employees / Higher Ed
Agency's decision to allocate more than $25 to recognize one or more employees, in lieu of expending up to $25 per employee per fiscal year, does not violate the Ethics Act so long as the expenditure on any one employee does not exceed $100, and the total amount expended for this purpose during the fiscal year does not exceed the sum total of $25 per employee. 

2011-05 University President

  • May spend public funds to pay membership dues for the President, but not the President’s spouse, to join the local Rotary club.
  • Public funds may only be spent for President’s membership dues (and one-time new member fee), not on meals or any other cost or fee associated with Rotary membership, such as contributions to a related philanthropic organization. 
  • Ethics Act does not prohibit the University Foundation—a separate, non-government entity—from paying for the spouse’s membership in Rotary and/or for paying for meals associated with Rotary meetings or functions for the President and/or the President’s spouse.
  • Higher Education exemption available only when the activity has been approved as part of the employment contract.
2012-20 Public University  
  • May use public funds to purchase prizes or incentives, including gift cards, for wellness related competitions or promotions when prize recipients include University employees.
  • $25.00 gift limit not applicable because wellness program administrators are not interested parties to recipients.
  • May use reasonable amount of public funds for wellness-related incentives so long as there is a rational basis for such expenditure.
2013-31 Elected Member of Board of Public Works
  • An elected Member of the Board of Public Works is permitted to allow a private foundation to participate in the State purchase card program, and also to receive rebates from the financial institution.
  • The financial benefit to the private foundation would result in an overriding public benefit. The purpose of the private foundation is to support a public institute of higher education. West Virginians are students at the public university. Both the State and the students are beneficiaries of a donation made to a private foundation formed to aid the public university.

2021-06 College Professor
  • Public higher education institutions may use public funds for meals for college-approved student events, regardless of wheth​er the event is held on or off campus, if the expenditure is for a legitimate government purpose.
  • A public higher education institution may not exclusively invite one candidate for public office to speak about his or her platform to a class. 
____________________________________________________________________________________

Lobbying

1989-35 Lobbying Firm

The Director of a lobbying firm may need to register as a lobbyist, but the lobbying firm does not.

 

1989-55 Society

A Member of an association is exempt from registration if she lobbies without compensation and makes no expenditures on officials.


1989-95 Parent Teacher Association

A PTA Executive Director must report spending if she is compensated for lobbying.


1990-136 Lobbyist

A Lobbyist need only report spending over $25 for a meal for a public official.


1989-118 Physicians

Private physicians may attend legislative sessions and provide free services without registering as lobbyists.