CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Kanawha County Parks and Recreation Commission unanimously voted to reprimand Director Jeff Hutchinson for violating state ethics rules.
But the issue will not end there. Hutchinson's reprimand and ethics violations will be discussed at the next county commission meeting, Commission President Kent Carper said.
"I do not understand their (parks commission) thinking, or the lack thereof," Carper said of the decision to reprimand Hutchinson.
Commissioner Dave Hardy also said he was "very, very disappointed" with the parks commission's decision Wednesday to reprimand Hutchinson.
"I am very disappointed to hear that there was no suspension given," he said.
Hardy had hoped the parks commission would have suspended Hutchinson for at least 10 days without pay.
This is not the first time Hutchinson has run afoul with the Ethics Commission, he said.
In April 2008, the state agency ordered Hutchinson to pay the parks commission $360 for free shoes he received in connection with a vendor contract.
He was fined $100 and told to "cease and desist from accepting any incentive, including free merchandise, in exchange for placing a purchase order for a vendor's merchandise for (the parks commission)."
"I'm just very disappointed that they (parks commission) allow two ethics complaints to be signed by their director and there's no suspension," Hardy said.
The parks board met early Wednesday morning to discuss the situation.
On April 4, Hutchinson had signed an agreement with the West Virginia Ethics Commission to settle a 4-year-old ethics complaint.
Hutchinson agreed not to use any parks commission vehicles for personal reasons, not to use parks resources for personal gain and not to accept any gifts of more than $25 without first checking with the Ethics Commission.
However, the reprimand was for accepting gifts of more than $25 without checking with the Ethics Commission, said Anna Dailey, Parks Commission president.
Hutchinson was accused of keeping a set of golf clubs sent to him by Cleveland Golf, a golf equipment vendor.
Hutchinson and Dailey have both said the clubs were sent to Coonskin Park for a youth golf program. However, since the park did not yet have a youth golf program, Hutchinson left the clubs in his office still in the box, he said during a previous interview.
He eventually sent the clubs back to the vendor.
However, he never called the Ethics Commission about the clubs, and that was the basis for the reprimand, Dailey said.
"He should have contacted the Ethics Commission," Dailey said. "But we didn't think this offense warranted his termination."