Chris Schulz Published

Governor Appoints Five To Opioid Settlement Board

Glasses and a blue pen are seen on top of several twenty dollar

Gov. Jim Justice announced his five appointments to the board of the West Virginia First Foundation.

In a press release, the appointments were listed as: 

  • Matt Harvey – Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney, representing Region 2.
  • Jeff Sandy – Former Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security, Certified Fraud Examiner, and Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist, representing Region 3. 
  • Dora Stutler – Harrison Superintendent of Schools, representing Region 4.
  • Alys Smith – Attorney and Philanthropist, representing Region 5.
  • Greg Duckworth – Raleigh County Commissioner and retired State Trooper, representing Region 6.

During the 2023 regular session the West Virginia Legislature passed Senate Bill 674 formally recognizing the West Virginia First Foundation. The foundation is designed to direct the spending of settlement funds from opioid litigation the state has engaged in. It is estimated the settlements could amount to $1 billion over the next 10 to 15 years.

The foundation will handle 72.5 percent of the state’s settlement funds, while 24.5 percent will go to local governments. The remaining three percent will be held by the state in escrow to cover any outstanding attorney’s fees.

The board includes 11 members, six selected by the counties and five appointed by the governor. All six regions elected their representatives in July via a quorum of elected officials from the towns, cities and counties of each region. 

Those previously elected members of the board are: 

  • Region 1: Steven Corder
  • Region 2: Tim Czaja
  • Region 3: Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce
  • Region 4: Jonathan Board
  • Region 5: Dr. Matthew Christiansen
  • Region 6: Dr. Tony Kelly 

A search for the foundation’s executive director is underway.