Morrisey won't release emails in drug firm lawsuit; AG has ties to Ohio pill distributor

By Eric Eyre
Charleston Gazette

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey refuses to make public emails and other documents that might show if he took part in his office's lawsuit against a drug company that Morrisey's wife lobbies for in Washington, D.C.

The drug distributor, Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal Health, contributed to Morrisey's inauguration party last year, and the company's executives wrote checks to Morrisey's campaign before, as well as after, the November 2012 election.

The lawsuit, which Morrisey inherited from ousted Attorney General Darrell McGraw, alleges that Cardinal Health helped fuel Southern West Virginia's problem with prescription drugs by shipping an excessive number of pain pills to the region.

Last week, Morrisey's office initially agreed to release redacted, or blacked out, copies of "potentially responsive documents" to the Sunday Gazette-Mail's request for information about Morrisey's role in the Cardinal Health lawsuit. The newspaper requested the records in September under the state's Freedom of Information Act.

Hours before the scheduled release, though, Morrisey's office said it would only allow a reporter to "visually inspect, but not retain, photograph or copy the redacted copies." Morrisey's lawyer said the office "was doing this as a courtesy" to the newspaper.

"The redaction process simply left a nearly empty document with a large blocked area," Assistant Attorney General J. Robert Leslie said in an email to the Gazette-Mail ...

Read more   Morrisey won't release emails in drug firm lawsuit; AG has ties to Ohio pill distributor   by Eric Eyre for the Charleston Gazette

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