FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Trouble in Berkeley Springs

by RUSSELL MOKHIBER

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey came to Berkeley Springs this week as part of his statewide listening tour. It was billed as a town hall meeting. Morrisey said he wanted to hear from citizens about whatever was on their minds.

But when one citizen raised the issue of money in politics and Morrisey’s connection to a healthcare services company, Morrisey responded by saying that it was merely one person “trying to cause trouble” and that there was “one newspaper down in Charleston that has been saying a lot of things that aren’t true.”

The issue involves Cardinal Health, a Fortune 500 healthcare services company based in Dublin, Ohio.

Morrisey’s wife, Denise Henry, is a lobbyist for the company.

Morrisey’s campaign took $4,000 from Cardinal Health executives during his campaign last year.

And a Cardinal Health political action committee donated $2,500 to Morrisey’s inaugural ball, according to the Charleston Gazette.

Before becoming Attorney General, Morrisey lobbied for the Healthcare Distribution Management Association, a trade group that represents Cardinal Health.

Last year, Morrisey’s predecessor, Darrell McGraw, sued Cardinal Health, alleging that the company helped fuel West Virginia’s prescription drug abuse epidemic by not implementing “adequate safeguards to prevent prescription drugs which it distributed from being unlawfully diverted, despite warnings from internal investigators.”

Morrisey inherited the case when he became Attorney General in January.

Morrisey issued a statement in July saying that he had recused himself from the Cardinal Health litigation.

“Earlier this year, I recused myself from the litigation as it pertains to Cardinal Health,” Morrisey said in the statement. “My chief counsel, Dan Greear, has been managing the special assistant Attorneys General assigned to this matter since the beginning of the year.”

But a Boone County Courthouse Clerk’s office spokesperson said today that there is no record in the court docket that Morrisey has withdrawn or recused himself from the Cardinal Health litigation.

And the Gazette reported in October that despite the “recusal,” Morrisey held a meeting with Cardinal Health executives and the company’s lawyer about the lawsuit in May and fielded correspondence about the case in late June.

The defense lawyer for Cardinal Health in the pill distribution case?

Mark A. Carter, a partner at Dinsmore & Shohl. Carter headed Morrisey’s campaign transition team before the Attorney General took office on January 14.

Last night, Morrisey was asked when he recused himself from the Cardinal Health case.

“Earlier this year, I stepped aside from a number of cases because I thought it was the right thing to do,” Morrisey said.

“When did you recuse yourself?” Morrisey was asked.

“Well, I actually haven’t been involved overseeing the case from the beginning of the year,” Morrisey said.

“When did you recuse yourself?” Morrisey was asked again.

“I said — I haven’t been involved,” Morrisey said.

“But you said you recused yourself. When exactly did you recuse yourself?” Morrisey was asked again.

“I said — I have not been involved in the case from the beginning of the year,” Morrisey said. “I have not been involved in any of the day to day oversight. I never met with the outside counsel on this.”

“What we have here — this is an effort to try to cause trouble and to try to create different issues where none exist,” Morrisey said. “I wasn’t required to recuse from this matter. You had one newspaper and another gentleman trying to continually make this an issue.”

After the town hall meeting was concluded, Morrisey was asked if there was any documentation of his recusal or withdrawal. He said there wasn’t. But Morrisey also said that he couldn’t reveal attorney/client confidential information.

Russell Mokhiber edits Morgan County, USA.

Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter..

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
April 21, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Diana Johnstone
The Main Issue in the French Presidential Election: National Sovereignty
Paul Street
Donald Trump: Ruling Class President
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Dude, Where’s My War?
Andrew Levine
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em
Paul Atwood
Why Does North Korea Want Nukes?
Robert Hunziker
Trump and Global Warming Destroy Rivers
Vijay Prashad
Turkey, After the Referendum
Binoy Kampmark
Trump, the DOJ and Julian Assange
CJ Hopkins
The President Formerly Known as Hitler
Steve Reyna
Replacing Lady Liberty: Trump and the American Way
Lucy Steigerwald
Stop Suggesting Mandatory National Service as a Fix for America’s Problems
Robert Fisk
It is Not Just Assad Who is “Responsible” for the Rise of ISIS
John Laforge
“Strike Two” Against Canadian Radioactive Waste Dumpsite Proposal
Norman Solomon
The Democratic Party’s Anti-Bernie Elites Have a Huge Stake in Blaming Russia
Andrew Stewart
Can We Finally Get Over Bernie Sanders?
Susan Babbitt
Don’t Raise Liberalism From the Dead (If It is Dead, Which It’s Not)
Uri Avnery
Palestine’s Nelson Mandela
Fred Nagel
It’s “Deep State” Time Again
John Feffer
The Hunger President
Stephen Cooper
Nothing is Fair About Alabama’s “Fair Justice Act”
Jack Swallow
Why Science Should Be Political
Chuck Collins
Congrats, Graduates! Here’s Your Diploma and Debt
Aidan O'Brien
While God Blesses America, Prometheus Protects Syria, Russia and North Korea 
Patrick Hiller
Get Real About Preventing War
David Rosen
Fiction, Fake News and Trump’s Sexual Politics
Evan Jones
Macron of France: Chauncey Gardiner for President!
David Macaray
Adventures in Labor Contract Language
Ron Jacobs
The Music Never Stopped
Kim Scipes
Black Subjugation in America
Sean Stinson
MOAB: More Obama and Bush
Miguel A. Cruz-Díaz
Minute Musings: On Why the United States Should Launch a Tomahawk Strike on Puerto Rico
Tom Clifford
The Return of “Mein Kampf” … in Japan
Todd Larsen
Concerned About Climate Change? Change Where You Bank!
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Brexit: Britain’s Opening to China?
John Hutchison
Everything Old is New Again: a Brief Retrospectus on Korea and the Cold War
Michael Brenner
The Ghost in the Dream Machine
Yves Engler
The Military Occupation of Haiti
Christopher Brauchli
Guardians of Lies
James Preece
How Labour Can Win the Snap Elections
Cesar Chelala
Preventing Disabilities in the Elderly
Sam Gordon
From We Shall Overcome to Where Have all the Flowers Gone?
Charles Thomson
It’s Still Not Too Late to Deserve Your CBE, Chris Ofili
Louis Proyect
Documentaries That Punch
Charles R. Larson
Review: Vivek Shanbhag’s “Ghachar Ghochar”
David Yearsley
Raiding the Tomb of Lubitsch
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail