"Where's Joe Panetta's affidavit?" Carney said. "Wouldn't you like to have a copy of that one?"
Brewer said the Ethics Commission was unaware that Mezzatesta requested grants through Panetta.
"Nobody identified him as someone who would have any knowledge of the events we were investigating," Brewer said. "The trail never led to Panetta."
Panetta was at a conference last week and unavailable for comment.
In 1999, Mezzatesta promised the Ethics Commission that he would not solicit grants from "any state agency."
Last April, Mezzatesta provided a sworn statement to the Ethics Commission, saying, "I have never solicited any grants for the Hampshire County Board."
Mezzatesta's job description requires him "to explore and secure resources for county grants from federal, private and philanthropic agencies." It is the first of four job duties listed on the job description.
Friend strongly defended Mezzatesta and lashed out at the Gazette in the affidavit he provided to the Ethics Commission.
"The Charleston Gazette knowingly and intentionally reported and repeated a story which they knew to be false and untrue, solely to engage in a character assassination of Jerry Mezzatesta," Friend wrote.
Friend also supported Mezzatesta's assertions that the delegate can legally collect two taxpayer-funded paychecks at the same time. Mezzatesta draws his school administrator salary while also getting legislative pay during regular and special sessions. He makes $60,000 annually from his school job and about $24,000 per year as a legislator.
"Jerry Mezzatesta works hard for the moneys he receives as salary, and is generally reputed to be a workaholic," Friend said in the affidavit.
Mezzatesta said he works eight to 10 hours every night and 12 to 16 hours on weekends during legislative sessions, according to his affidavit.
Last month, the Ethics Commission gave the green light for Mezzatesta to continue the double-payment practice.
Mezzatesta's attendance records show that he takes paid "professional leave" when he is working in the Legislature. Ethics investigators said they did not retrieve those records during the investigation.
The Hampshire County school board plans to discuss Mezzatesta's job duties at a meeting Tuesday.
"When all this started to break, Mr. Mezzatesta was a grant writer," said Tifney Terry, a former Kanawha County School Board candidate who filed one of two ethics complaints against Mezzatesta. "Now the position keeps changing."
Mezzatesta repeatedly has declined to discuss the ethics complaints with the newspaper.