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Over Attorney General’s objections, West Virginia lawmakers renew push to control settlement funds


Charleston Gazette-Mail

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

CHARLESTON, W.Va. For a second consecutive year, West Virginia lawmakers are targeting Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s use of lawsuit settlement funds.

On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee advanced a measure (House Bill 4009) that aims to ensure the Legislature gets to spend settlement money as it sees fit.

Morrisey’s office opposes the bill, saying it’s flawed.

“We are deeply concerned that the way the bill is drafted is unconstitutional and would severely limit the attorney general’s authority to protect the public,” said Anthony Martin, chief operating officer for the Attorney General’s Office.

Last year, Morrisey and the House wrestled over $8 million paid by prescription drug distributors to settle a 2012 lawsuit filed by former Attorney General Darrell McGraw. The House of Delegates passed legislation to rein in Morrisey’s use of settlement funds, but the bill died in the state Senate.

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