CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A complaint against an employee in the Kanawha County Assessor's Office accused of undervaluing rental properties he owns has been dismissed by the state Ethics Commission's Probable Cause Review Board.
In a letter dated Jan. 6, the board dismissed a complaint filed in 2010 against Stephen Duffield, commercial property supervisor, alleging he undervalued 30 rental properties he owns in Kanawha County.
"After conducting a thorough investigation into the allegations and reviewing the relevant evidence and law, it is the opinion of the Probable Cause Review Board of the West Virginia Ethics Commission that probable cause does not exist to believe respondent Stephen Duffield materially violated any prohibition of the Ethics Act," the letter states.
Duffield's attorney, Ned Rose, said Tuesday he was pleased with the decision.
At the November Ethics Commission meeting, Rose called the allegations "talk-radio crap."
The complaint, filed by Wanda Carney, was based on statements made on a now-defunct Charleston talk-radio program which made numerous allegations of property undervaluations in the county.
At the same time the complaint was filed, a request for an advisory opinion was submitted to the commission, asking whether it is ethical for employees of county assessor's offices to own commercial property in those counties.