§6B-2-3. Advisory opinions; enforcement; applicability; legislative review; rule making.
(a) A person subject to the provisions of this chapter may make application in writing to the Ethics Commission for an advisory opinion on whether an action or proposed action violates the provisions of this chapter or the provisions of section fifteen, article ten, chapter sixty-one of this code and would thereby expose the person to sanctions by the commission or criminal prosecution. The commission shall respond within thirty days from the receipt of the request by issuing an advisory opinion on the matter raised in the request. All advisory opinions shall be published and indexed in the code of state rules by the Secretary of State: Provided, That before an advisory opinion is made public, any material which may identify the person who is the subject of the opinion shall, to the fullest extent possible, be deleted and the identity of the person shall not be revealed. A person subject to the provisions of this chapter may rely upon the published guidelines or an advisory opinion of the commission, and any person acting in good faith reliance on any such guideline or opinion shall be immune from the sanctions of this chapter and the sanctions of section fifteen, article ten, chapter sixty-one of this code, and shall have an absolute defense to any criminal prosecution for actions taken in good faith reliance upon any such opinion or guideline in regard to the sanctions of this chapter and the sanctions of section fifteen, article ten, chapter sixty-one of this code.
(b) By the first day of the third month of the calendar year, the Ethics Commission shall annually furnish copies of all advisory opinions issued during the preceding calendar year to the archives and history section of the Division of Culture and History, the office of the Clerk of the West Virginia House of Delegates, the office of the Clerk of the West Virginia Senate and the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Law Library. Accompanying the initial delivery of the previous calendar year's advisory opinions after the enactment of this subsection, the commission shall supply each of these offices with copies of all advisory opinions issued subsequent to the creation of the commission.