CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A day after House of Delegates leaders targeted Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office with accountability reforms, Morrisey called for audits of state agencies and the Legislature.
"Indeed, we need to have more audits of the legislative body itself, and the process to award grant monies to entities," Morrisey said Monday during The Associated Press' Legislative Lookahead event in South Charleston. "The legislative and executive branch alike must not be immune from oversight and scrutiny."
On Sunday, House Speaker Tim Miley, D-Harrison, unveiled plans to spotlight accountability and ethics during the 2014 legislative session. Several measures targeted Morrisey's office, including a proposal that would require lawsuits to be assigned to outside attorneys if the attorney general has a conflict of interest.
Last year, Morrisey said he recused himself from two lawsuits filed by the office against drug companies. Morrisey's wife, Denise Henry, lobbies for the two companies, Cardinal Health and Sanofi. Morrisey is a former lobbyist for Sanofi.
Former Attorney General Darrell McGraw filed the lawsuits in 2012, and Morrisey, a Republican, inherited the cases after defeating McGraw in that year's election.
Miley also has proposed a separate accountability measure that would require all money received by Morrisey's office through lawsuit settlements go into the state General Revenue Fund to be appropriated by state lawmakers.
Speaking to reporters Monday, Morrisey said he has traveled to 33 West Virginia counties over the past year as part of a "listening tour." West Virginians are fed up with government waste, he said.
"People are sick and tired of this culture of corruption and utter lack of accountability that infests state government," Morrisey said. "People consistently talk to me about how they think that Charleston politicians take their money, and it seemingly goes down a black hole."
Morrisey cited an ongoing audit and allegations of mismanagement at the state Department of Agriculture as an example.