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Ethics Panel Issues Additional Guidance on Trinkets Law

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

  The state Ethics Commission is giving additional guidance to public officials on the use of pictures in social media.

The commission said Thursday that officials may post pictures of themselves attending public events on sites such as Facebook and Twitter as long as the primary purpose is not self-promotion.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper sought the opinion after the Ethics Commission last month directed officials to sharply restrict the number of photographs of themselves on official websites to avoid violating the new "trinkets" law. The law bans publicly-funded trinkets - from mugs to matchbooks - with officials' names or faces on them.

Carper said clarification was needed before the next election cycle because some people have made filing ethics complaints "a blood sport."

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