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Huntington firm sues Morrisey over FOIA request

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Huntington-based company is suing Attorney General Patrick Morrisey after asking his office to hand over documents related to Cabell Huntington Hospital’s proposed acquisition of St. Mary’s Medical Center.

On Dec. 15, attorney Carte Goodwin filed a lawsuit in Kanawha County Circuit Court on behalf of Steel of West Virginia after the company filed a Freedom of Information Act request with Morrisey’s office in early September.

A spokesperson for the attorney general called the lawsuit “frivolous.”

The lawsuit is the fourth legal action taken against Morrisey’s office over the state’s Freedom of Information law in the past two years.

Steel of West Virginia’s legal action began after the company sent Morrisey a letter seeking copies of public records and any correspondence related to the proposed merger of the two hospitals.

In Nov. 2014, Cabell Huntington Hospital submitted a bid to purchase St. Mary’s. After conducting a review of the proposed merger, Morrisey announced in late July an agreement that established several conditions to ensure the merger complied with the state’s antitrust laws.

Despite filing their initial FOIA request on Sept. 2, Steel of West Virginia did not hear back from Morrisey’s office until Sept. 21…

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