Ex-lawmaker fined $2500, violated West Virginia Ethics Act
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The West Virginia Ethics Commission says a former state lawmaker and mayor used a city-issued cellphone in his run for state legislature and is ordered to pay thousands in fines and prosecuting costs.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the commission deliberated Thursday for roughly 15 minutes before unanimously deciding that Michael Ihle must pay more than $2,500 for violating the state Ethics Act that prohibits using public office for private gain. Ihle had been Ravenswood mayor from July 2012 to June 2016, and was elected to the state House of Delegates in 2014.
During hearings in April, Ihle said listing the city phone as his campaign number “might be kind of an ignorant thing to do,” but argued there was no proof he had used it for personal or campaign matters.