W.Va. Tax Chief Stepping Down

CHARLESTON (AP) – West Virginia Tax Commissioner Craig Griffith plans to step down and has asked the state Ethics Commission for an exemption that will allow him to take a job in the private sector.

State ethics laws prohibit public officials from seeking jobs with businesses or firms that they or their department regulate. Griffith’s department regulates every business and firm that pays taxes in the state.

Ethics Commission Executive Director Theresa Kirk approved a temporary exemption earlier this month allowing Griffith to begin a job search. The commission is scheduled to vote on a full exemption at its December meeting.

“I just felt like it was time to go back into the private sector,” Griffith said.

Griffith, 38, was appointed tax commissioner by former Gov. Joe Manchin on June 30, 2011. He had been serving as interim commissioner since March 2010.