By PHIL KABLER
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Division of Tourism officials can partner with The Greenbrier resort as part of the division’s new Cooperative Advertising Program, after the state Ethics Commission granted Tourism a contract exemption.
Tourism officials argued it would be an undue hardship if the state could not enter into an agreement with The Greenbrier as part of Tourism’s new centralized advertising campaign, stating, “The Greenbrier is critical to the CAP’s success because it is one of West Virginia’s strongest and best-funded tourism assets.”
That effectively gives Justice direct authority over the proposed state contract with The Greenbrier, in violation of the state Ethics Act.
However, commissioners Thursday concurred with the Tourism Office’s determination that denying the contract exemption would be an undue hardship for the agency, since The Greenbrier is expected to participate at the highest tier of the advertising matching fund program, at $50,000.
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