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West Virginia governor tells agency to remove sponsorship of Greenbrier Classic

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice instructs the state Commerce Department to remove sponsorship of The Greenbrier Classic. Pictured here is the tee box on the first hole on the Old White TPC Course at The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs. (AP Photo/John Raby)

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has ordered a state agency to remove its sponsorship of this year's Greenbrier Classic.

Justice said in a news release Thursday he didn't feel comfortable with the Department of Commerce's participation in the PGA Tour event at The Greenbrier resort he owns.

Justice says while he recognizes the state's gains from the department's past sponsorships of the tournament, he doesn't want any perception of impropriety.

The state Ethics Commission had scheduled a special meeting for next Monday on a state Development Office request for an exemption to become a sponsor. According to the meeting notice, the office wanted to cover travel-related expenses for certain CEOs, high-level executives and others for purposes of economic development.

The tournament is being held next month in White Sulphur Springs.

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