Commission says sheriff candidate can’t use photo with badge

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A rule that barred a police officer from wearing his uniform in campaign photos while running for public office applies to a chief deputy sheriff running for county sheriff, the West Virginia Ethics Commission determined.

The chief deputy sheriff was using a photo in which she was in civilian clothes, but wearing her badge and department identification tag, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

The state Ethics Commission said in an opinion issued Thursday that she could not use that photo in campaign materials.

A 2019 opinion from the commission stated that a police officer couldn’t use photos for his campaign that showed him in uniform because it could be interpreted as the police department endorsing him.

The commission met telephonically on Thursday, the newspaper reported, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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