CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's spokeswoman took to social media earlier this week and alleged that former deputy attorney general Fran Hughes had received a 17 percent pay hike last year.
"Nice raise, Fran," wrote Morrisey spokeswoman Beth Ryan on her Twitter account. "Makes me wonder how many other state employees got a 17% pay raise that year. How convenient it happened right before she was retiring."
But Hughes, who was the top aide to former attorney general Darrell McGraw, didn't receive a 17 percent pay hike last year, according to state payroll records.
Ryan had looked at Hughes' total compensation for the past year -- information recently made available on the State Auditor's website.
Hughes' total compensation of $174,728 included a $25,272 lump sum payment at the end of the year for accrued unused annual leave.
Ryan apologized for the mistake Thursday. She deleted the tweets about Hughes' salary after the Gazette asked Ryan about the posts.
"I was wrong," she said. "I feel bad. I didn't do my research and fact-check, and I shouldn't have been snarky."
Ryan acknowledged she tweeted about Hughes from her attorney general's office computer Monday. But she said she was eating lunch at the time, so she wasn't technically on state time.