Last week, we reported that West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey hired a campaign strategist from Walla Walla, Washington, and put him on the state payroll — at a salary of $99, 499. The political operative, Lance Henderson, who wasn’t a lawyer, quit two days later.
Now, Morrisey has taken to Facebook saying the story is “untrue.” Specifically, he says a consumer investigator position wasn’t eliminated to make way for Henderson’s newly created position of deputy chief of staff.
Henderson’s personnel action form shows that Morrisey’s office eliminated the investigator position. If you click here, you’ll see the personnel action form, which shows the elimination of position # 57 (held by former consumer fraud investigator Joe Crawford; a position titled “investigator”) and the renaming of the position to “deputy chief of staff.”
The new position is being funded from two accounts — 50% or $49,749.96 from Fund 1509 (Consumer Protection Recovery Fund) and 50% from Fund 0150 (Attorney General Salary Fund.” It would have been impossible to pay Mr. Henderson his full $99,500 salary without eliminating the investigator position.
As it stands now, the AG’s office has eliminated the investigator position, but, of course, could restore that position at any time in the future by taking a vacant position and renaming it “investigator.”
Also, Morrisey demanded that all questions regarding Lance Henderson be submitted in writing. I did so. And one of the questions submitted was this: “Why was an investigative consumer position eliminated to make way for a deputy chief of staff position?”
Morrisey’s answer: “We have been, and continue to, actively recruit additional investigators for our office.”
I quoted that response in my initial story. He only took to his Facebook page and disputed that after we published our investigation of Lance Henderson’s hiring. And he has never contacted us to request a correction.