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Gov. Justice pulls W.Va. Commerce sponsorship for 2017 Greenbrier Classic

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Jim Justice today instructed the West Virginia Department of Commerce to pull its sponsorship for the 2017 Greenbrier Classic.

“Even though the Ethics Commission may very well approve the Department of Commerce’s request to participate as a sponsor for the 2017 Greenbrier Classic, I do not feel comfortable going forward with their participation,” Gov. Justice said. “Since I am the Governor and have a vested interest in The Greenbrier, I do not want to be involved,” he said. “There’s no need to cloud such an important economic and promotional event for our state.”

“I clearly recognize the gain the state has realized from the Commerce Department’s sponsorships in the past, however, I don’t want any perception of impropriety,” Gov. Justice said.

The Commerce Department had chosen a significantly diminished sponsorship level for the 2017 Greenbrier Classic in the amount of $500,000 as compared to past annual sponsorships of $1.7 million. The investment to entertain potential clients included tents, hospitality, rooms and spots in the various Pro-Am events.

“With great regret we are pulling our sponsorship this year,” said H. Wood Thrasher, secretary of the Department of Commerce. “This is absolutely devastating because we had hoped to again capitalize on the wonderful opportunity this event presents to market West Virginia to potential investors. The net results achieved by the Commerce Department during the past Classics have been extremely positive, but we clearly understand Governor Justice’s decision.”

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