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§61-5A-2. Definitions.

The following words and phrases when used in this article shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section unless the context clearly requires a different meaning:

(1) “Government” includes the state, the state or any county board of education, or any county or municipality of the state;

(2) “Public servant” means any officer (whether executive, judicial, legislative or ministerial, and whether elected or appointed) or employee of the state, or of the state or any county board of education, or of any county or municipality of the state, including without in any way limiting the generality of the foregoing, commissioners of a court, justices of the peace, law-enforcement officers, and any person participating as juror; or any candidate for election to any state, county or local public office; but the term does not include witnesses;

(3) “Party official” means (i) a person who holds an office or position in a political party or political party committee, whether by election, appointment or otherwise, by virtue of which he directs or conducts, or participates in directing or conducting party affairs at any level of responsibility (including, but not limited to, a treasurer of a political party committee), or (ii) a committee or any member thereof advancing the interests of any political party or candidate for election to any state, county or local public office (including, but not limited to, a financial agent as that term is now defined in chapter three of this code) or working for or against the approval of a public question by the voters at any election;

(4) “Administrative proceeding” means any adversary proceeding before any public servant, involving the exercise of administrative authority, and said term shall not be construed as including any legislative proceeding;

(5) “Judicial proceeding” means (i) any proceeding before any court or commissioner thereof or justice of the peace, or (ii) any quasi-judicial proceeding before a board, commission or public servant, the outcome of which is required to be based on a record or documentation prescribed by law;

(6) “Legislative proceeding” means any proceeding before the Legislature or either house or any committee thereof;

(7) “Official action” means a decision, award of contract, judgment, opinion, report, recommendation, vote, or other exercise of discretion;

(8) “Benefit” means a gain or advantage, or anything regarded, or which might reasonably be regarded, by the beneficiary as a gain or advantage, including a gain or advantage to any other person; and “pecuniary benefit” means a benefit in the form of money, tangible or intangible property, commercial interests or anything else the primary significance of which is economic gain; but the terms “benefit” and “pecuniary benefit” shall not be construed so as to include (a) salary, fees and other compensation and expenses paid by the government or political party or political party committee in behalf of which the official action or legal duty is performed, or (b) concurrence in official action in the course of legitimate compromise among public servants, or (c) wages, salary or fees or other compensation paid to a public servant when the reason for such payment is not to affect his official impartiality;

(9) “Harm” means loss to a person, physical injury of a person or injury to the property of a person, including loss to, physical injury of or injury to the property of any other person in whose welfare he is interested;

(10) “Approval” means recommendation, failure to disapprove, or any other manifestation of favor or acquiescence; and

(11) “Disapproval” means failure to approve, or any other manifestation of disfavor or nonacquiescence.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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