CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says audits of all state agencies should be conducted regularly.

“If a state agency knows that they could be subject to scrutiny, maybe every two, maybe every three years, you’re less likely to see some of the disastrous practices that occurred,” said Morrisey.

MetroNews file photo

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said all state agencies should be subject to regular audits.

Morrisey’s call comes after legislative auditors found several problems during an audit of the state Department of Agriculture.  A $5 million revolving loan program that’s been in place for decades, what some lawmakers have called a “friends and family program,” raised red flags.

The results of that audit have been turned over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for review.

Morrisey said regular comprehensive reviews could identify similar issues within other state agencies.  “I’m offering our assistance in this process because West Virginia taxpayers deserve to root out all fraud, waste and abuse in state government,” said Morrisey.

If the Legislature signs off on the regular audits, Morrisey said the first reviews could be finalized by September and potentially lead to cost savings at a time when the state needs the money.

Six months into the current fiscal year in West Virginia, revenue collections are currently an estimated $66 million behind estimates and budget analysts are predicting a larger budget hole in the next fiscal year that begins in July.

“When you’re looking at the difficult economic times the state is facing and you have shrinking revenues for state government, we have to double down on our efforts to root out fraud, waste and abuse,” said Morrisey.

“Because, the fact is, I don’t want to increase taxes and I don’t want to increase the size and scope of state government, so what we have to do is we have to look under the hood and be more aggressive to find more savings.”

Earlier this week, House Speaker Tim Miley (D-Harrison, 48) announced new legislative proposals focused on accountability.  Those proposals included legislation, which could be introduced during the ongoing regular legislative session, addressing how potential conflicts of interest involving the state attorney general are handled in the future.

“If we want to talk about conflicts, we should, because we’ve actually done everything right.  I’ve stepped aside voluntarily on a number of cases.  I think we’ve set the right model for how to handle things,” said Morrisey of that proposal.

“But we shouldn’t just talk about conflicts in the AG’s office.  We should also look at the Legislature, at some of the potential conflicts that may emerge or across the board in state government.”

Morrisey was a guest on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline” which originated from the State Capitol ahead of the start of the 2014 Regular Legislative Session.

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Comments

  • stephenwv

    When can you tell AG Morrisey is doing something right? When he is attacked incessantly by the Democrats. They are running scared because their shenanigans are at risk of being exposed. Keep up the good work Patrick. When the attacks stop, I will start to worry.

  • Justice

    A New Jersey lawyers big talk who is pouting over rules that the legislature placed on his office due to all his pharmacy connections, somebody should audit his office and then move to the GOP in the state.

    What a Bunch of hypocrites preach about saving money and traditional family values, what a joke look at the state republican
    party chairman CL who pulls The strings screaming conservative Christian values all the same time hiding a little dirty secret on his lifestyle.

    Don't let the new so called conservatives or the state GOP fool you WV , they don't represent our traditional values at all! That's why a bunch of us left that party too opting for independent.

    Wake up West Virginia!

    • WVU86

      Justice - Talk about hypocrites! Let's talk the Democratic party. Many of the 'reforms' they are calling for in this recent round of grandstanding toward the AG's office are to do away with practices put in place by Darrell McGraw. Why were Democrats so silent for the 20-plus years McGraw ran the AG office like his own fiefdom? Now that a 'Republican' is in office, the Democrats develop a conscious and want to legislate the AG office? Ridiculous. 20 years overdue. Take off your blinders to the 'Democratic' or 'Republican' label. West Virginia struggles because of continued incompetence from elected officials on BOTH sides of the aisle.

    • Justice

      Open those closets boys and let the sun shine in on all of you. Including your puppet master at the state GOP...Keep throwing stones in your glass house.

  • jm

    biggest conflict I see is allowing school teachers and administrators to be members of the legislature. They have the authority to vote themselves a raise. Talk about a conflict.

    • Aaron

      I couldn't agree more. That is the primary reason we will not see an end to the County Board of Education system. Without the county system, it would be hard to classify teachers as anything other than what they truly are; state employees.

    • wvu999

      If they have the authority alone to themselves raises they need fired. They are doing a terrible job of it. Almost dead last in pay.

      • wvu999

        Vote^

  • Gilbert Gnarley

    Morrisey Tacky Reelection Campaign Slogan #4 (an ongoing series): "Patrick Morrisey: A Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Bloodhound Who Does Everything Right, With Humility".

  • Rich

    I guess he doesn't realize that state agencies are already regularly audited by the Legislature and other agencies.
    Another headline and power grab.

    • Damion45

      I would like to see the completed audit schedules on all State Agencies and their sub-divisions for the past ten years.

      • Rich

        They are available on the Legislature's website

        • Damion45

          Do you have a link to the specific reports? I can not find them. Thanks.

    • mntrbob

      Looks like they have been doing a bang up job

  • Aaron

    Who is going to audit the State AG's office?

    • wvu999

      Prob PM wife. They seem to be in bed with every company trying to deal drugs to WVians. This guy is a joke

      • Justice

        Your right in the money! Has this guy ever truly lived in West Virginia? Is this the type of people we want representing our state? Can't wait until someone opens the "closet" on them.

        • Aaron

          About the only good thing I can say about him is that he's miles ahead of his predecessor.

  • Mountain Man

    Stop all state purchases immediately across all state offices to include universities and all agencies except for commodities that are required to sustain daily operations. It is apparent with the previous news of the DOH missing equipment months ago and additional news of the Fairmont State University ex-Vice President that embezzlement, theft of all kinds, unethical loans and purchases is rampant in our state government. When will the AG stop the purchases and demand an immediate unit of everyone. No wonder we can't use existing budgets to sustain normal operations. Why, because those trusted in our state govt are simply thieves!!!

    • vashti

      that is ridiculous. you should not tar everyone with the same brush because of three instances of abuse of the system. The state employs several thousand employees. there are surely just as many embezzlements in private companies too. no one would suggest that private companies discontinue their operations because of an embezzlement.

      • stephenwv

        What a pro corrupt government tool you are.

      • Mountain Man

        I didn't say discontinue operations, I said stop all purchases that don't sustain required operations and maintenance. Start scrutinizing every purchase. I can guarantee with the economy the way it is, there is all kinds of theft and sale going on at every shop across the state. So say what you want, theft of state property and corrupt and unethical use of taxpayer funds has always plagued this state. Most never gets published and swept under the rug.