The Ethics Commission issues formal Advisory Opinions which respond to questions relating to the application of the Ethics Act. It also issues Opinions regarding W.Va. Code § 61-10-15 (relating to county employees’ interests in contracts) and regarding W.Va. Code §18-5-1a (to county board of education members, members-elect and candidates for election to board regarding whether they may hold certain other positions and serve on a county board).
In addition, two of the Commission’s Committees are authorized to issue Advisory Opinions. The Committee on Open Governmental Meetings issues Advisory Opinions which interpret the Open Governmental Meetings Act. The Committee on Standards of Conduct for State Administrative Law Judges issues Advisory Opinions regarding the Code of Conduct for Administrative Law Judges.
Only persons subject to the relevant statute may make a request for an Advisory Opinion on whether an action or proposed action violates one of these statutes.
The Commission will not respond to requests for written Opinions on the propriety of someone else’s conduct. The identity of the requester will not be disclosed in the Advisory Opinion.
How to Request an Opinion
Requests must be submitted in writing to: West Virginia Ethics Commission, 210 Brooks St., Suite 300, Charleston, WV 25301. The request must contain a complete statement of the facts, including the name, address, phone number and the requester’s official position.
Prior Advisory Opinions
Since its creation in 1989, the Ethics Commission has issued hundreds of Advisory Opinions. Pursuant to W. Va. Code § 6B-2-3, Advisory Opinions may be relied upon in good faith unless they are amended or revoked by the Ethics Commission.
To view prior Advisory Opinions:
To view Contract Exemptions, click here: Contract Exemptions
Reliance on Advisory Opinions
A person subject to the Ethics Act who acts in good faith reliance on an Advisory Opinion shall be immune from the sanctions of the Ethics Act and of the sanctions set forth in W.Va. Code § 61-10-15. Such persons also shall have an absolute defense to any criminal prosecution for actions taken in good faith reliance upon any such Opinion.