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W.Va. Attorney General’s Office hit by departures

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — More high-ranking lawyers are leaving West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s office.

The departures include three senior deputy attorneys general – Marty Wright, Tracy Webb and Richie Heath – who have been part of Morrisey’s leadership team for the past two years. Their new jobs with the West Virginia Legislature recently came open after Republicans took control of the Senate and House of Delegates for the first time in decades.

Wright has accepted a job as head lawyer for the House Judiciary Committee. He replaces Brian Skinner.

At Morrisey’s office, Wright was acting director of the Consumer Protection Division and chief of Morrisey’s public corruption investigative unit. Wright also managed the office lawyers who work for the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, he said.

“While I’ve been very grateful to work for Attorney General Morrisey, the historic change in the Legislature presented an exciting opportunity I couldn’t give up,” Wright said. “Given my background, I’ve been exposed to civil and criminal cases. This seems a natural fit for me and my legal career.”

Representatives of outgoing House Speaker Tim Miley, D-Harrison, and Delegate Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, who will become speaker next month, would not disclose Wright’s salary, saying it hasn’t been formally approved. Wright, a former lawyer with the state Ethics Commission, made $97,000 a year while working for Morrisey.

Heath, a deputy attorney general assigned to regulatory and policy matters, now works as chief counsel to incoming senate president Bill Cole, R-Mercer.

Heath’s job switch will give him a pay hike – from $95,000 to $98,000 a year. He replaces Ray Ratliff, who retired as counsel to Senate President Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, in April. Ratliff was paid $91,000 a year.

Another Morrisey deputy, Tracy Webb, will take over as head lawyer of the House Government Organization Committee. Webb, who oversaw contracts and billing for Morrisey’s office, made $106,000 a year. House leaders wouldn’t release her new salary.

She replaces committee lawyer Brenda Thompson, who was paid $92,580 a year.

Morrisey’s office was hit with additional departures earlier this month…

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