More on EQT Board Member Serving in WV Gov’s Office

Yesterday MDN told you about EQT board member Bray Cary and his work as an unpaid, “informal” adviser to WV Gov. Jim Justice (see EQT Board Member Unofficial Adviser to WV Gov Justice). WV media continues to track (hound) this story. The bone of contention is that Cary, who is a long-time WV resident (lives in Charleston) appears to have unfettered access to Justice. Cary has his own “swipe card” giving him 24/7 access to the Capitol. Cary has been “taking part in policy-oriented meetings.” He’s not on the payroll and he doesn’t answer to anyone. He’s also not subject to the state Ethics Act. And because Cary sits on the EQT board, and EQT has big assets in WV (and a big interest in pushing for a forced pooling law), critics see a conflict of interest. But is there? Yes, Cary sits on the EQT board, but that’s just one small piece of Cary’s background and active life. Cary is “best known for his former role as an executive with West Virginia Media.” He’s a player. He’s connected. An important guy. And Gov. Jim Justice wants to bend his ear on occasion, to get Cary’s advice and feedback. The real issue is not will/does Cary’s presence give EQT some sort of unfair advantage in the highest levels of WV state government. The real issue is the *appearance* of a conflict of interest–whether there actually is one or not…

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