Revolving Door Loophole Exposed - State and Federal Communications

May 13, 2011  •  

Revolving Door Loophole Exposed

The West Virginia Ethics Commission has concluded it cannot prevent an employee of the Legislature from avoiding the state’s newly passed “revolving door” ban if he changes his status from an employee to an independent contractor before the law takes effect on July 1, 2011.

Under the pending law, elected officials and certain high-ranking unelected employees will be forbidden from acting as lobbyists for one year after leaving public employment. The commission decided this law does not include independent contractors.

This decision comes after a request for an opinion by legislative counsel Donnie Adkins. The commission said it “is troubled” by the proposed maneuver but would be unable to bring him within the revolving door ban as an independent contractor.

The West Virginia Ethics Commission offers the opinion on their website.

Here is the Charleston Gazette’s coverage in the story, “Ethics loophole a cause of concern” by Phil Kabler.

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