But Morrisey wouldn't say whether he planned to take on companies that manufacture and distribute drugs.
"With respect to your request to launch a formal investigation on specific companies ... the Office of Attorney General is not authorized under the law to disclose the existence of any formal investigations until a certain point in a case," Morrisey wrote. "As such we cannot substantively respond to your specific requests for information, or even confirm whether an investigation is pending, as that would be improper."
When he took office in January, Morrisey inherited two lawsuits from McGraw that target prescription drug distributors.
Last June, McGraw filed suit against Cardinal Health, alleging the company has helped fuel Southern West Virginia's problem with prescription drug abuse. A second lawsuit against 13 other drug companies in Boone County Circuit Court includes similar allegations.
Morrisey has said he recused himself from the Cardinal Health case, alleging that McGraw "implied" at a campaign stop last year that he filed the lawsuit to retaliate against Morrisey. McGraw said he never spoke to Morrisey about the Cardinal Health lawsuit. Morrisey's wife has lobbied for Cardinal Health for more than a decade.
Morrisey hasn't said whether he plans to step aside from the second lawsuit against the 13 drug distributors.
In his letter to Perdue last week, Morrisey said his office is "in the middle of a number of anti-substance abuse initiatives" that he plans to announce in the coming months.
Perdue said he doesn't want Morrisey to disclose any formal investigations and never asked him to do so.
Instead, he wants Morrisey to start a review of pseudoephedrine diversion and meth production to spotlight "the clandestine labs and the horrific consequences they bring."
Perdue said meth labs put the lives of families, law enforcement officers, firefighters and paramedics in danger.
Perdue predicted that an attorney general's inquiry would "excite needed discussion" among the public and state lawmakers at a time when meth lab seizures are on a pace to double last year's total.
Morrisey has solicited public comments for his abortion review. Perdue believes the attorney general could do the same during his inquiry into West Virginia's meth lab problem.
"I want someone to put the microscope on this," Perdue said. "I want the issue to be transparent. That's all I'm asking for."
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.