CHARLESTON – The Republican Attorneys General Association is attacking Democratic candidate Doug Reynolds for comments his campaign made last week.
In comments made last week in response to television ads about Reynolds, campaign spokeswoman Lynette Maselli said Reynolds has “inherited nothing from his family, but has worked hard to build a business and create hundreds of good paying, unionized, West Virginia jobs.”
The executive director of RAGA said Reynolds has inherited “significant assets” from his father, Huntington businessman Marshall Reynolds. He says Reynolds takes issue with the statement that he “inherited a fortune.”
“This could not be further than the truth,” RAGA’s Scott Will said. “There are numerous examples where Reynolds has inherited significant assets from his father, but one needs to look no further than his father’s 2011 transfer of land to him in Ohio to refute Reynold’s complaint.”
Will said online records show that Marshall Reynolds transferred a parcel of land in Lawrence County, Ohio, to Doug Reynolds for no charge in 2011. Online records from the Lawrence County Auditor show Doug Reynolds owns a parcel described as a service (gasoline) station. Those records show Doug Reynolds bought this parcel from Marshall Reynolds for the sale price of $0 on Sept. 28, 2011. Marshall Reynolds had bought the parcel on May 3, 2011, for $225,000. Records show the current appraised value of the parcel is $120,170.
“The term ‘inherit’ is not confined to the receipt of money or property from someone when that person dies,” Will said. “In fact, Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines the verb ‘inherit’ as ‘to get (a personal quality, interest, etc.) because of the influence or example of your parents or other relatives.’ Dictionary.com offers an additional definition of the verb ‘inherit,’ as ‘to receive as one’s portion; come into possession of.’”
Will also said Reynolds is wrongly claiming his is not a millionaire.
“One needs to look no further than his stock holdings to refute this claim,” Will said. “Reynolds owns significant shares of stock in Energy Services of America Corporation, where Reynolds serves as Chief Executive Officer, a position given to him by his father who chairs the company.
“In its Form 10-K annual report for its last fiscal year, ESOA lists Doug Reynolds as having 1,515,684 shares of common stock, which comprises 10.48 percent of the company’s common stock, in addition to 216,667 preferred shares of ESOA stock. The current stock price of Energy Services of America Corporation … is $1.46 per share. This means that Reynolds’ common stock shares alone are worth over $2.2 million.”
Will says Reynolds also owns substantial stock in First Guaranty Bancshares.
“On April 21, 2016, First Guaranty Bancshares filed a Schedule 14A with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission,” he said. “The report notes that Doug Reynolds owns 371,812 shares of stock in the company. … The stock is currently valued at $16.24 per share, making Reynolds’ stock in First Guaranty worth over $6 million.
Will said it is “impossible” for Reynolds to deny he received significant interests – in position, title and financial benefits – by virtue of his father’s influence.
“Likewise, Reynolds cannot refute the fact that he came into possession of numerous assets, including the parcel of land in Ohio and the stock holdings … as a result of his father’s influence and the nepotism that exists within his father’s various companies. These examples alone fall squarely within the definitions of ‘inherit.’”
Maselli responded to Will’s claims.
“Merriam-Webster says to inherit means to ‘receive (money, property, or a title) as an heir at the death of the previous holder,’ she said. “Doug had a property transaction with his father, period. He did not ‘inherit a fortune.’”
Maselli said Reynolds also isn’t a millionaire banker.
“He makes a few hundred bucks a month as a board member for the First Bank of Charleston,” she said.
After The West Virginia Record originally posted this story online, RAGA issued another press release condemning Maselli's comments again.
“Doug Reynolds’ support for Hillary Clinton and his vote to cripple the attorney general’s power to fight the EPA are enough to disqualify him from this race," Will said in an Oct. 18 statement. "Now, Reynolds is adding blatant dishonesty to his record. The facts are clear and publicly available: Doug Reynolds inherited tremendous wealth from his father, and he is attempting to use that inherited wealth to buy the office of attorney general.
“With the Clean Power Plan threatening so many jobs in this state, the last thing West Virginia needs is a dishonest, Hillary Clinton supporting attorney general.”