West Virginia AG announces new updates on state opioid settlements

West Virginia’s attorney general has released new updates on the distribution of opioid settlements from cases the state has against drug companies.

“So many precious lives have been lost and shattered by the opioid epidemic,” Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said. “Indeed, this is the time to begin the healing, but by no means will we let our guard down.”

Morrisey said regions formed by the West Virginia First Foundation now have to elect the director from each of its six regions. The state legislature created the West Virginia First Foundation to administer the distribution of funds.

Raleigh County’s meeting has been slated for July 5th at 1 p.m. at the Raleigh County courthouse. The president of the county commission of the most populous county in the region is in charge of scheduling the meeting. For Raleigh County, that falls on Commissioner Dave Tolliver.

“It’s my job to convene a meeting of all local governments before July 17,” Tolliver said at the last county commission meeting. “We’re going to have this big meeting July fifth at 1 p.m. here in the courthouse. All 11 counties in region six and every municipality in region six can appoint one delegate to vote for a region six director.”

The state has also partnered with DRIWaterstone Human Capital, a firm from Arlington, Virginia, to select an executive director for the entire foundation.

“I am looking forward to working with them to identify the best possible candidate to serve as the first executive director of the West Virginia First Foundation,” Morrisey said. “We are hopeful to have identified such a candidate in approximately 30 to 60 days.”

Morrisey said the funds dispersed by the foundation must be used to combat the opioid crisis and will be distributed to different areas of local government.

“Ultimately, once the board is composed, money can be transferred from the settlement administrator fund to the counties, 24 and a half percent. To the state, three percent, to be held in trust, and to the foundation, 72 and a half percent, of the total net dollars after the court resolves the attorney’s fees and the expense question,” Morrisey said.

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