Although the assistant superintendent did not participate in awarding the contract, and has no direct involvement with it, the commissioners concluded it would be a violation of a state law that prohibits county officials from having a private interest in a public contract.
Scragg rents his home from a funeral home operator that has a contract with the state to transport bodies to the medical examiner's office.
At the time Scragg first rented the house more than 10 years ago, state Ethics law did not prohibit such an arrangement, but the law was changed in 2009 to prohibit state officials and public employees from leasing property from state vendors or persons regulated by the particular state agency.
Commissioners granted the exemption, concluding it would be a hardship to require Scragg and his family to move out of a house they've lived in for more than a decade.
As part of a conciliation agreement in January, Huffman agreed to pay $8,000 in fines to the Ethics Commission for ethics law violations stemming from his operation of a private environmental testing company during city work hours at the city's wastewater treatment plant, where he had worked as plant supervisor.
Huffman, who was fired from the city job at the time of the ethics investigation, cited financial difficulties in his request.
Besides Sutton, members of the Ethics Commission are Kemp Morton, Drema Radford, Jack Buckalew, Ronald Salmons, Jonathan Turak, Monte Williams, Robert Wolfe and Terry Walker.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.