CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has hired a former Kanawha County assistant prosecutor to be part of efforts against prescription drug abuse.

Morrisey announced Thursday Maryclaire Akers will be an assistant attorney general in the Consumer Protection Division.

“We are pleased to have someone of Ms. Akers’ caliber joining our team,” Attorney General Morrisey said in a prepared statement. “She is a well-respected attorney in the Kanawha Valley, and she will bring years of prosecutorial experience to the Division and the Office’s working group tasked with looking at the drug abuse epidemic plaguing our state.”

Akers told MetroNews Thursday most of the crimes she came across as an assistant prosecutor were related to drugs and drug abuse.

“One thing that always struck me was how many people it affects,” she said. “It affects every member of their family, their community and their neighbors.”

AG Morrisey said Akers will prosecute consumer fraud cases and be part of a working group in his office evaluating the state’s prescription drug problems.

Akers said she’s looking forward to the challenge.

“The hard things make me happy to try to figure out and solve. I know it’s a complex problem and there’s no easy answer,” she said. “I think it’s going to be really exciting to work on and I’m really glad for the opportunity.”

Akers has most recently worked for the state Ethics Commission. She’ll begin her new job August 12.

 

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Comments

  • rich

    Joe is absolutely correct. While Akers is an excellent hire, what can she do? The AG has no prosecutorial authority. He could bring suit against manufacturers like McGraw did against Pharma. Given his and his wife's ties to the pharmaceutical industry, anyone see that happening?

  • central

    Kanawha county has notoriously been one of the worst areas in the state with rampant drug abuse, most recently noted with rising pseudoephrine sales. Last weeks' Gazette noted that this one county accounted for 50% of the statewide sales of this meth-making ingredient. I'm not familiar with this lady and not from kanawha, but why should the public have faith in her when she comes from such an unsuccessful court system in regards to the drug problem? How many drug-related murders have there been just in the last year in charleston alone?! I think we need to be bringing in some bigger guns from outside our broken system to actually fix something! No one is putting two and two together and realizing that all they have done by enforcing laws on one type of drug (prescription pain pills) is force the addicts into harder drugs like meth, as we are seeing now with the number of lab busts already this year. Not to mention the growing heroin problem in our area. Our current approach simply isn't working. I'm not sure what the answer is, but the "war on drugs" as it currently is being waged is the biggest waste of taxpayer money.

  • Joe

    I am courious as to how they will prosecute consumer fraud cases, as the AG per WV Consitution has no crimial prosecution power, this is vested with the county prosecuting attorneys.

    I am not knocking the caliber of the atty hired, just a question as to what his menat by prosecutue consumer fraud cases.

  • ConservativeRealist

    Ms. Akers is an excellent attorney and a very politically savvy person. She has a great deal of integrity and experience in the court room. She is the first hire in Morrisey's office that indicates there is a glimmer of hope in an otherwise problematic office...

  • sam

    must have missed this job posting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • John Evans

    The war on drugs is an epic failure. Why don't we decriminalize it and let people decide what to do on their own. It is none of your business what another person chooses to do if they do not hurt or bother anyone else.

    • hillbilly

      Your last sentence is the key. A cousin of ours has stolen and pawned anything he could get his hands on to feed his habit. He constantly bums money and calls any relative he has and tells different sob stories for money, like how the dealers from Michigan are following him, trying to kill him, how he owes them money, etc. He breaks in to houses and garages looking for things to steal. He shows up with his drug friends at people's homes and tells them these guys are holding him hostage, etc trying to intimidate them too. His parents have hocked their souls to send him to three different rehabs, to no avail since he doesn't really want help, he only uses meeting people at rehabs to make more drug contacts. This is going to end up really bad. If it were legalized, how do you think it would help? I can only see much more of the same, and law enforcement would not be after anyone about it.

    • Mike

      John it does hurt and bother others. I don't know what the answers are but it has seriously damaged our family. Mrs Akers will bring great insight and experience to the AG's office.