Attorney General Patrick Morrisey hosts roundtable in Vienna

WTAP News @ 6 - Morrisey roundtable
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 7:34 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey hosted a roundtable event in the Vienna City Council Chambers.

Citizens and public servants from Wood County had the opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns with the attorney general.

Though Morrisey touched on the issue of Medicaid fraud, the primary topic of discussion was the use of the opioid settlement funds that will soon be disbursed to the state of West Virginia. Morrisey spoke about the West Virginia Frist Foundation, the nonprofit created to manage 72.5% of the settlement funds. Morrisey said the board of of the Foundation will consist of six representatives from the different regions of West Virginia, as well as five additional members appointed by the governor and approved by the state legislature.

He said the foundation will receive oversight from his office. “The attorney general’s office and the Secretary of State today have jurisdiction over non profits, so there are a lot of laws on the books to make sure those entities are operating in the right way,” the attorney general said.

Morrisey also commented on how he foresees the West Virginia First Foundation working to provide fund sand support to West Virginia Communities.

“It’s a foundation,” Morrisey said. “It’s going to be taking in grant applications and requests, and what I would imagine is going to happen is there’s going to be an announcement at at the beginning of every year as to the dollars that are going to be available for expenditure during that year.” Morrisey added, “the counties who are planning smartly with their colleagues and with the cities are going to be able to put really creative proposals together which can most effectively use the money.”

Wendy Tuck, a Parkersburg City Council Member, attended the roundtable. She stressed the importance of having a scientific, data-driven approach to conversations and policy surrounding the opioid crisis. “There is such good science out there, “Tuck said. “I think it’s really importance to balance out the people with wonderful intentions with the people who actually know the research that leads to healing and recovery.

Tuck added that, for her part, she wants to see Parkersburg’s use of opioid settlement funds to be focused on preventative measures to treat addiction.