FAYETTEVILLE — Fayette County resource coordinator Dave Pollard was unanimously vindicated Thursday by the state Ethics Commission regarding questions raised about his marriage to Lynn Pollard, an attorney for one of the housing developers along the rim of the New River Gorge.

Pollard, who had requested the inquiry last month, was elated. “I knew from the start what my role was, and it was not a conflict. This opinion bears that out,” he said.

“It’s unfortunate that some elements in the media allowed themselves to be manipulated by certain individuals who are upset that the county process did not support their own positions, and it’s even more unfortunate that they tried to find a scapegoat.”

On April 10, The Charleston Gazette questioned the fact that Lynn Pollard is the local attorney for Land Resources Co. while her husband simultaneously reviews applications for housing developments. Pollard, at the time, deemed the Gazette’s reporting “inaccurate” and “irresponsible.”

Among its findings, the commission found that the county resource coordinator does not have decision-making authority on the developer’s proposal.

“He is employed in a support capacity where he provides input to the individuals and agencies which exercise that authority,” the report stated.

“No provision in the Ethics Act disqualifies him from performing these duties based on his spouse’s limited business relationship with this developer. Neither (Lynn Pollard) nor her law firm is affiliated with the law firm which represents the developer.”

Commissioners cautioned that Pollard is still prohibited from using his office as a public employee to achieve private gain or the private gain of another.

“In this case, both the public and (Pollard’s) employer are aware of the relationship. Therefore, no further formal disclosure is required.”

The commission chairman concluded the report by explaining that it has a precedent-setting effect unless or until it is amended, revoked or the law is changed.

— E-mail: mhill@register-herald.com

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