Perhaps it's time for West Virginia legislators to take another look at state ethics laws for public officials. In some ways they seem contradictory.
Just last week the state Ethics Commission released an opinion stating county officials cannot cohabitate with county employees. The case involved a county commissioner who wanted to know whether he could live with his secretary.
No, we can't tell you which county asked for the opinion; the commission keeps such information confidential.
That seems reasonable until it is considered that state law does allow some county officials to have relatives, even spouses, on their office payrolls.
We suspect there is some cohabitation involved there.
The Ethics Commission does an excellent job in trying to keep public officials "honest." But it must issue opinions based on state law and, again, that sometimes has at least the appearance of being contradictory.
At some point - soon, we hope - legislators should study the law, including all the exemptions they have enacted down through the years, to ensure ethics rules make sense and live up to the trust West Virginians place in them.