• Postponed action on a request for an advisory opinion on whether municipal employees in a small town may use city equipment for personal use.
Commissioners were told it is a common practice in small municipalities in the state to allow employees to be able to use city owned equipment, such as backhoes, for personal use at no charge or at discount.
After extended discussion over whether the practice amounts to an acceptable fringe benefit for low-paid town employees, or a potential ethics law violation, commissioners tabled the matter to the March meeting.
"To me, the issue is, are they allowed to offer this as a fringe benefit to employees?" Turak said.
• Granted an employment exemption to Eric Coberly, chief of the Office of Abandoned Mine Lands and Reclamation in the Department of Environmental Protection, in order to seek employment with regulated private-sector businesses.
• Agreed to submit a formal request to Attorney General Patrick Morrisey to authorize Deputy Attorney General Marty Wright to represent the commission on various matters.
Wright, who had been a legal counsel for the commission before joining the Attorney General's Office last month, has several matters pending. Among them is a hearing for Beckley Mayor Emmett Pugh, who faces ethics charges for allegedly exchanging city contracts for financial interests in those companies.
"We feel it is in the best interest of the commission to have Marty take that matter to public hearing," said Kirk, who said Morrisey has agreed to allow Wright to represent the commission.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.