The committee dismissed the matter Aug. 30, finding “credible evidence that no violation of a law or rule administered and enforced by the commission has occurred.”
In its Order of Dismissal, the commission said the complaint alleged Mrs. Barber “misrepresented the true source of political advertising or a campaign communication that was published” in the Sept. 3, 2011, issue of The Gilmer Mirror.
The ad said it was a “public notice from the Republican Party Upshur County” concerning such information as when and where to file applications to run in the 2012 GOP primary election.
Ambrose alleged the ad “was political advertising or a campaign communication that ‘misrepresented the ad as being paid for by the Republican Party Upshur County,’” the commission said.
He also charged it was an “attempt to mislead the public (potential candidates for a place on the ballot) by purporting to be supported by RPUC funds.”
The commission added, “The complaint further alleged that the communication was an attempt to influence the outcome of an election” and that it charged “that the respondent (Mrs. Barber) did not pay for the communication with RPUC funds.
“The complaint included a document that identified a person other than the respondent as the purchaser of the advertising space in the newspaper,” the commission said. Ambrose further said the ad was “an attempt to undermine” his “position as existing. . . county chairman and candidate for reelection.”
Ambrose, who left office Aug. 20 after his May 29 defeat for reelection, did not recognize Mrs. Barber as the legitimately-elected secretary of the county GOP.
The commission found that the advertisement “did not specifically mention the complainant or support or oppose any candidate. On its face, the communication does not appear to have been published with intent to injure a candidate or influence the result of an election. . . ”