Mauk

This is the poster that West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse is sending to senior centers across the state.

HUNTINGTON -- To counter Attorney General Darrell McGraw's "reckless and seemingly politically motivated spending," a state group is urging West Virginia seniors to help protect services for poor and disabled citizens.

West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse is delivering posters and a fact sheet to senior centers across the state this week, asking seniors for their help in restoring $4.1 million in Medicaid funding by "curtailing harmful giveaways by the attorney general," according to a WV CALA press release.

"Darrell McGraw directed $3.3 million from a lawsuit settlement to wealthy person injury lawyers, not West Virginia's most needy seniors," Bob Mauk, WV CALA chairman, said Monday at a Kiwanis Club luncheon in Huntington. "Millions more were blown for his own political slush fund."

In May, the state was notified by federal authorities that McGraw's failure to reimburse the state Department of Health and Human Resources with proceeds from a 2004 lawsuit settlement put the state's Medicaid matching funds in jeopardy.

McGraw, according to CALA, "seemingly rewarded his campaign contributors with millions of public dollars in legal fees," adding that lawyers he appointed as special assistant AGs to file the lawsuit had made major contributions to McGraw's election campaigns.

"Then, instead of delivering the remaining $6.7 million to the state, on whose behalf McGraw seemingly filed the lawsuit, the attorney general has instead taken the funds and lavished it among his own pet projects across West Virginia," Mauk said Monday as he urged seniors to ask McGraw's office to provide DHHR with the money to which WV CALA says the agency is entitled.

Mauk went on to say that thought it was "ironic" that McGraw last year tried to block proposed cuts to the state's Aged and Disabled Waiver program "while he himself has pocketed the money that could have kept 712 seniors in their in-home care program."

The poster and fact sheet WV CALA is sending to senior centers talks about "McGraw's misuse of lawsuit money" and how those actions could cost the state. It details the OxyContin settlement and list potential ways the loss of more than $4 million in Medicaid funds could hurt the state.

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