CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has joined a review of West Virginia University's plans to award a lucrative media rights contract.
"This office will assist WVU in the ongoing internal review of this issue," Morrisey said in a prepared statement Tuesday. "Through our engagement, we will help ensure that all applicable laws and regulations are being followed."
WVU has signed a tentative agreement with IMG College, a North Carolina firm that's expected to partner on the third-tier media rights deal with West Virginia Media Holdings of Charleston.
Morgantown businessman John Raese has asked WVU to scrap the deal and re-bid the contract. Raese asked Morrisey to investigate the proposed deal and other WVU contracts. Morrisey recently set up a public integrity unit designed to crack down on corruption in West Virginia.
In a release, Morrisey said WVU requested that his office provide "legal advice and assistance" during an ongoing examination of how IMG College secured the tentative media rights deal - valued at $110 million over 12 years.
"To facilitate this review, WVU has offered to provide the attorney general's office with all necessary information, access and resources," Morrisey said.
Bob Gwynne, a lawyer for Raese-owned Greer industries, questioned Morrisey's ability to investigate the media rights deal and other WVU contracts while the attorney general represents the university. Gwynne said Raese also wanted Morrisey to investigate potential violations of West Virginia's "Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act" involving the WVU Foundation, which donated money to pay for scoreboards at Mountaineer Field and the Coliseum.