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 Contract Exemptions

 


 

        In July 2007, the Ethics Commission began issuing specific opinions relating to requests for waivers of the pecuniary interest prohibitions in §6B-2-5(d) and § 61-10-15 as "Contract Exemptions" - e.g., CE-2007-01. Unlike regular advisory opinions, exemption requests are not anonymous. Thus, the identity of the agency and the public servant affected is contained in the text. 
        Exemptions apply only to the parties stated in the decision and are decided by the Commission on a case-by-case basis.    


 

Contract Exemption requests starting July, 2007

         Click on number of each Contract Exemption Request listed below to view the
         complete opinion in .pdf format.   All links open in a new window.

CE 2007-01     Jackson County Commission 
        Granted an exemption allowing Commissioner to continue renting apartment to tenant who receives HUD assistance from the County Housing Authority

CE 2007-02    Buckhannon City Council 
        Denied an exemption to purchase furniture for new fire station from business owned by council member despite potential savings to City of $505.00  

CE 2007-03    Hancock County Commission 
        Denied an exemption to enter into a 99-year lease agreement with a County Commissioner to place a new county emergency radio tower on land owned by the Commissioner. 

CE 2007-04 Ripley City Council 
        Granted exemption to purchase parts, accessories and services from hardware store owned by Council Member in order to maintain brand name (Stihl) tools previously      purchased by City 

CE 2007-05     Rowlesburg Town Council 
        Granted exemption allowing Mayor to make $2000 unsecured, interest-free loan to Town to complete funding to demolish abandoned building posing a health hazard

CE 2008-01     Kenova City Council 
        Denied an exemption, except in emergency circumstances, to purchase products and services from a hardware store in which council member is the store manager, owns 20% stock, and is the treasurer. 

CE 2008-02    Withdrawn by requestor, no opinion issued

CE 2008-03    City of Hurricane 
        Granted a two-year exemption allowing the City to continue contracting with business owned by Mayor to maintain and operate phone system, website and E-mail system.  (expires 3/6/2010)

CE 2008-04 & 2008-05 Belington City Council 
        Granted limited exemptions to obtain vehicle maintenance from businesses owned by multiple Council Members  (expires 3/8/2011)

CE 2008-06    Belington City Council 
        Granted limited exemption to purchase plumbing and hardware items costing $100 or less from business owned by Council Member  (expires 3/10/2009)

CE 2008-07     Withdrawn by requestor, no opinion issued

CE 2008-08     Town of Rhodell 
        Granted temporary exemption allowing Mayor to be employed as contract operator of Town’s Class I water system  (expires 7/1/2009)

CE 2008-09    Webster County Commission 
        Granted exemption allowing County Commission to pay utilities for office building owned by County Prosecuting Attorney and occupied as his public office  (expires 1/1/2010)

CE 2008-10    Webster County Commission 
        Granted exemption permitting County Commission to pay utilities and nominal rent to Prosecuting Attorney whose building is used as Prosecutor’s office  (expires 9/1/2011)

CE 2008-11    City of Bridgeport 
        Granted exemption authorizing City to purchase property from corporation owned by Council Member to facilitate public library expansion project

CE 2008-12    Wellsburg City Council 
        Denied an exemption to purchase a used utility trailer from a council member despite potential savings to City of $150.00
        
CE 2008-13 Town of Handley 
        Granted exemption authorizing continued employment of Mayor as Police Chief where Mayor receives $100 monthly salary and an additional $250 monthly to serve as Chief of Police until July 1, 2010 so long as the Town adopts a resolution giving it, rather than the Mayor, direct oversight and supervision of the Town Police Chief, and allowing citizens direct access to Town council regarding police matters that may arise.  (Exemption expires 7/1/2010)

CE 2008-14   Weirton City Council 
        Denied an exemption, except in emergency circumstances, to purchase products and services from a hardware store owned by an elected Council member. Requestor failed to demonstrate that purchasing goods at nearby store in Ohio created undue hardship, excessive cost, or substantial interference with. governmental operations.

CE 2009-01    Town of Mabscott 
        Denied an exemption for Mayor in Strong-Mayor municipality to also be employed by the Town as Police Chief, Head of the Street Department, and/or Assistant Fire Chief.

CE 2009-02     Withdrawn by requestor, no opinion issued

CE 2009-03     Raleigh County Solid Waste Authority 
        Denied an exemption to purchase equipment, or other items from a hardware store owned by a member of the Authority. However, granted a limited exemption for the purchase of incidental Stihl parts and accessories (for currently owned Stihl products) and for the servicing and repair of existing Stihl equipment, that are otherwise not available in Raleigh County.

CE 2009-04     Monroe Health Center 
         Denied an exemption for county public agency to purchase food for recognition lunches from local grocery store owned by elected county commissioner. However, granted a limited exemption to purchase distilled water in an amount not to exceed $500.00 due to the lack of available local retailers.

CE 2009-05     Gilmer County Commission 
        Granted a limited exemption to purchase specific name-brand replacement parts and accessories for currently owned lawn and garden power equipment, and to obtain service and repair of the existing name-brand authorized dealer equipment from a store owned by a member of the County Commission, with the following conditions: (1) the exemption shall only be for the purchase and servicing of parts that are not otherwise available at another store or dealer within a 20 mile radius of Glenville, W.Va., and (2) the County’s purchases of goods and services from the store shall not exceed a total of $900 in a calendar year.

CE 2009-06     Withdrawn by requestor, no opinion issued

CE 2009-07     Cabell County Board of Education 
        Denied an exemption to continue contracting with a business owned by a high school assistant principal to provide an after-school driver’s education program to students in the county school system. However, granted a short-term exemption, with conditions, to allow completion of existing classes.

CE 2010-01     Town of Wayne - temporary exemption    
        Granted a four-month extension to a previously granted exemption allowing the Town to lease building owned by Mayor in order to satisfy full duration of lease term (expires 9/1/2010)

CE 2010-02     City of Hurricane
         Denied renewing exemption allowing the City to continue contracting with business owned by Mayor to service its phone system and website server.

CE 2010-03     Village of Beech Bottom
        Denied an exemption for Mayor in a Mayor-Council municipality to be compensated for performing services for the Village in addition to his established salary 

CE 2010-04    Town of Wayne
         Granted a one year exemption, with limitations, for the Town to continue leasing building owned by Mayor. (expires 7/1/2011)

CE 2010-05    Randolph County Board of Education
           Denied exemption to continue making purchases from a Wal-Mart store where newly elected member David Kesling is employed as the store manager and owns shares of stock therein;  granted a limited exemption to the Board of Education, and its member schools, to purchase supplies and items from any other Wal-Mart store, including on-line purchases.

CE 2010-05  Supplemental,  Randolph County Board of Education
            Upon proof that newly elected member David Kesling, who is employed as the store manager of a local Wal-Mart store, divested himself of his shares of stock in Wal-Mart and took measures to ensure that he receives no bonus from sales to Randolph county BOE or its schools; granted an exemption to the BOE, and its member schools, to purchase supplies and items from any Wal-Mart store, including on-line purchases.

CE 2010-06    Town of Handley
            Granted exemption authorizing continued employment of Mayor as Police Chief where Mayor receives $100 monthly salary and an additional $250 monthly to serve as Chief of Police until August 5, 2012 so long as: (1) the Town adopts a resolution giving it, rather than the Mayor, direct oversight and supervision of the Town Police Chief, and allowing citizens direct access to Town Council regarding police matters that may arise; (2) the Mayor only uses the police cruiser for official business even if on duty 24/7; (3) the town pursues any and all sources of outside funding to finance a Police Chief Position; (4) the Town advertises for the position of Police Chief for not less than one month in newspapers and other media that reach the entire State of West Virginia; (5) the Mayor recuses himself from participation in advertising, interviewing, and selecting candidates for the position.  At the expiration of this exemption the Town may only seek to have the exemption renewed if it first makes a good faith effort to hire a Police Chief.  (Exemption expires 8/5/2012)

CE 2010-07 Hancock County Board of Education
            Granted exemption to allow it to purchase property from Assistant Prosecuting Attorney William Fahey so long as he continues to recuse himself from all matters relating to the subject transaction.

CE 2011-01  Wetzel County Commission
            Granted a contract exemption to allow it to continue an agreement whereby the part-time County Prosecutor will provide office space, internet services, a receptionist, and other administrative services at no cost to the County; and in return, the Prosecutor will be allowed to use the County-owned copier without payment to the County.

CE 2011-02 - Guyan Conservation District
Granted a contract exemption, effective until October 6, 2013, to allow it to continue to use Putnam County Bank as the depository for two certificates of deposit even though one of its elected Board Members, Boyd Meadows, serves on the bank's Board of Directors, and is a stockholder therein, under following conditions:
1.  Member Meadows must recuse himself from all bank related matters; and
2.  This exemption is strictly limited to the referenced certificates of deposit.

CE 2011-03  Webster County Commission
                    Denied a three year exemption as requested because County Commission failed to provide any information about the availability of other existing office space or any proof of excessive cost, undue hardship, or other substantial interference with governmental operations.
                Granted a renewed temporary exemption to allow the County Commission adequate time to find new office space or, in the alternative, if its diligent search for other appropriate office space is unsuccessful, to submit a new exemption request to allow it to continue to rent office space from the County Prosecutor to house the Prosecuting Attorney's office. (expires January 15, 2012)

CE 2011-04  Town of Ridgeley
                        Granted temporary exemption to allow the Mayor's wife to be compensated for performing services for the Town, on a temporary basis. (Expires 1/12/2012)

CE 2011-05 - Withdrawn by requestor - no opinion issued.

CE 2012-01 - Webster County Commission 
                Granted another exemption permitting County Commission to pay utilities and nominal rent to Prosecuting Attorney whose building is used as Prosecutor's office during construction of a new building.  Expires July 1 , 2014  (see also CE 2008-10)

CE 2012-02 - Town of Handley          
                Granted third exemption authorizing continued employment of Mayor as Police Chief where Mayor receives $100 monthly salary and an additional $250 monthly to serve as Chief of Police until August 5, 2014 so long as: (1) the Mayor does not serve as Municipal Judge; and (2) the Mayor only uses the police cruiser for official business even if on duty 24/7(this limitation and all limitations from prior exemptions are incorporated by reference).  (Exemption expires 8/5/2014)

CE 2012 -03 - City of Sistersville
                Granted exemption to allow City to purchase property at a price not to exceed $8000 upon proof that prohibiting it from buying the subject property from Mayor will result in excessive cost, undue hardship and other substantial interference with governmental operations as there does not appear to be other suitable property available for this purpose.

CE 2012-04 - Brooke County Commission
                Granted exemption to enter into a lease for office space with County Prosecuting Attorney when:  no space is available in County Courthouse; no cost-efficient space is available near Courthouse; proposed space to be leased has functioned as County Prosecutor's Office for past fifteen years; County Commission may terminate lease upon thirty days written notice without cause should other space become available; and, proposed rent is fair considering area market values.

CE 2012-05 - Town of Fairview
                Granted one year exemption to contract with Town Council Member to perform odd jobs for Town when the Council Member performs these services at a low hourly rate; council Member has not received a windfall by virtue of his work for town; reliable workers are hard to find; and there is not enough work to justify adding an employee to the payroll.

CE 2012-06 - Town of Junior
        • Granted contract exemption to allow its Mayor to be compensated as a temporary employee in emergency situations until January 15, 2014 subject to conditions. 
        • Mayor may be compensated only for emergency fill-in work. 
        • Mayor may be compensated at minimum wage, and total annual compensation may not exceed $5,000. 
        • If future vacancy and/or staffing shortage, Town must take demonstrable steps to hire replacement employee. 
        • Mayor shall submit in writing to Town Council for approval an itemization of hours and specific services rendered. 
        • Mayor must recuse himself from participating in discussion and decision-making relating to approval of his compensation

CE 2013-01 - New River Community and Technical College
            Granted exemption allowing its Vice President, who participated in applying for grant awarded by United States Department of Labor, to administer grant, contingent upon Vice President first stepping down from his current position.

CE 2013-02 - WV State Police
            Regarding purchase of rifles

CE 2013-03     The Raleigh County Commission
             Granted  an exemption to award a contract to a cleaning company owned by County employees Mary Sizemore and Dennis Sizemore.

CE 2013-04  The West Virginia Conservation Agency
            Denied blanket exemption to allow Elected Members of Conservation Districts to participate in cost-share programs the Districts offer.  Each exemption request must be addressed on a case by case basis.

CE 2013-05  The Town of Monongah
             Denied exemption to allow Town to continue employing its Mayor to operate and supervise the Town’s Water Plant, but granted 90 day transition period to comply. Town should advertise position in newspapers of wide circulation throughout the region. 

CE 2013-06 - Little Kanawha Conservation District
             Granted an exemption to allow Calhoun County Conservation Supervisor Roger Collins to offer private delivery services for a cost-share program that the District offers.

CE 2013-07  City of Cameron
             Granted the City of Cameron an exemption to allow the City to contract with the Mayor's spouse to provide emergency repairs at the City's Water Plant.

CE 2014-01 Webster County Commission
            Denied an exemption allowing a County Commission to continue to rent office space from the County Prosecutor to house the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.

CE 2014-02 Wyoming County Health Department
            Granted an exemption allowing a health department to enter into a contract with a physicians group providing that the Board of Health Chairperson, due to her involvement with the physicians group, recuse herself recuse herself from deliberation and voting on matters related to that physicians group.


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