Emily Rice Published

Morrisey Partners With State Auditor To Ensure Proper Local Spending Of Opioid Funds

Gray-hair man in a suit with a red tie stands behind a podium.
Patrick Morrisey
West Virginia Attorney General's Office

To make sure opioid settlement money is being used for its intended purpose, local governments will have additional resources from the West Virginia State Auditor’s office.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced a partnership with the state Auditor’s Office to supplement efforts to ensure opioid settlement money will be used for its intended purposes as outlined in the West Virginia First Foundation Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The MOU created a plan of action to address the opioid crisis and details the allocation method for any settlement funds or judgments received as a result of the various lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, distributors and other parties in the pharmaceutical supply chain.

The West Virginia First 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.

Morrisey and Auditor J.B. McCuskey are sending letters to cities and counties to provide information and guidance as they begin to receive and plan to spend their share of the opioid settlement money.

“This is another layer in the checks and balances to make sure the money from settlements are used in the best possible way, to attack the opioid scourge head-on,” Morrisey said. “I am pleased to partner with the State Auditor’s Office to bring its proven track record of transparency, accountability, and service to local governments to amplify the collaborative effort between the Attorney General’s Office and local governments around the state.”

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting with support from Charleston Area Medical Center and Marshall Health.