HANCOCK COUNTY, W. Va. — According to www.wtov9.com, the Hancock County Board of Commissioners sought an exemption to allow sheriff’s deputies to use Water World Car Wash, owned by Commissioner Jeff Davis, but the West Virginia Ethics Commissions ruled it improper and denied the request.

The ethics ruling stated that “any arrangement where the commissioner and county police authorities would mutually benefit is an improper arrangement,” the article reported.

Hancock County Sheriff Ralph Fletcher posted a letter to the ethics commission asking for them to clarify on what could be allowed, the article noted.

Citing West Virginia code, the commission noted that the commissioner or the sheriff’s department “could have sought influence, leniency or control through the arrangement,” the article stated, and that the arrangement should cease.

“And, after receiving that information, I respect the ethics commission’s final result, and I’m sure the sheriff will be able to circulate his men throughout the county and find a place in the Weirton area to wash the vehicles,” Davis said.

Davis was giving a 40 percent discount — charging $8 instead of $13 — to the deputies, the article continued, and he said it was an arrangement of convenience to help keep local deputies on their patrol routes so they wouldn’t have to drive south to wash their vehicles.

“Until the complete investigation took place and a decision was made, I was willing to let the officers go ahead and wash the police cruisers there at no charge,” Davis added. “But the sheriff felt it was better that we do no transactions at all that way. So, the officers have not washed their cars there for two months now.”

According to Davis, nothing improper was taking place, and the sole purpose of the arrangement was to help the sheriff’s department with its duties, the article added.

The ethics commission stated that it would only have granted an exemption if there were no other way for the department to wash its vehicles or if it was an “undue burden,” the article concluded.

Read the original article here.