H. B. 2328
(By Delegate Amores)
[Introduced February 14, 2005
; referred to the
Committee on the Juciciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §6-9A-11 of the code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, relating to advisory opinions of the West
Virginia ethics commission committee generally and providing
that reliance on a written advisory opinion is a defense in
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §6-9A-11 of the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 9A. OPEN GOVERNMENTAL PROCEEDINGS.
§6-9A-11. Request for advisory opinion; maintaining
(a) Any governing body or member thereof subject to the
provisions of this article may seek advice and information from the
executive director of the West Virginia ethics commission or
request in writing an advisory opinion from the West Virginia ethics commission committee on open governmental meetings as to
whether an action or proposed action violates the provisions of
this article. The executive director may render oral advice and
information upon request. The committee shall respond in writing
and in an expeditious manner to a request for an advisory opinion.
shall be is
binding on the parties requesting the
(b) Any governing body or member thereof that
advisory opinion and
acts in good faith reliance on
the a written
opinion has an absolute defense to any civil suit or
criminal prosecution for any action taken in good faith reliance on
the opinion unless the committee was willfully and intentionally
misinformed as to the facts by the body or its representative.
(c) The committee and commission may take appropriate action
to protect from disclosure information which is properly shielded
by an exception provided
in section four of this article.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide that reliance on
a written opinion of the West Virginia ethics commission committee
is an absolute defense to certain criminal actions.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would