Associated Press Published

Ethics Panel Requests More Funding to Handle Increased Complaints


  The state Ethics Commission says it will need a bigger budget next year to deal with an increasing barrage of ethics complaints.

The Charleston Gazette reports that ethics complaints have nearly quadrupled in the past three years. There were 147 filed in the 2014-15 fiscal year.

Dealing with complaints is a labor-intensive process. They are presented to the Probable Cause Review Board. Some are then probed by contracted private investigators and attorneys.

Like many agencies, the commission has endured 7.5 percent budget cuts in each of the last two years. Its annual budget is a little more than $708,000.

Agencies like the Ethics Commission are currently submitting 2015-16 fiscal year funding requests.