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West Virginia House passes Ethics Act expansion, likely to include Cary


Charleston Gazette-Mail

Bray Cary, right, speaks with House Speaker Tim Armstead, left, and Senate President Mitch Carmichael, center, earlier this month in the Governor’s reception room.
(Gazette-Mail photo by Chris Dorst)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill Thursday to expand the state Ethics Act to include an increasingly influential worker from the governor’s office.

Bray Cary began working for Gov. Jim Justice in October as an unpaid advisor and “citizen volunteer.” He is a member of the board of directors for EQT Corp., a natural gas driller, where he directly owns 28,000 shares of stock and indirectly owns 14,377 more. He earned more than $325,000 in cash and shares in 2016.

The West Virginia Ethics Act generally prohibits any public employee from using his or her public office for private gain. House Bill 4424 explicitly expands the code section to include “a public servant volunteer” who performs services without compensation “on behalf of a public official and who is granted or vested with powers, privileges or authorities related to public officials.”

The House passed the bill unanimously and without discussion.

Cary’s emails, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, show he has been working in different policy arenas for Justice, while also coordinating media requests.

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