CHARLESTON – At the group's first meeting, Attorney General Darrell McGraw charged members of his Citizen Advisory Committee with strengthening and expanding consumer protection in the state.

"The Citizen Advisory Committee will be part of an outreach effort to build better communication between the Attorney General's office and local communities," McGraw said at the April 13 meeting, according to a press release from his office. "We want to pursue opportunities to educate consumers enabling them to make smart consumer choices and reduce unnecessary litigation. Ultimately communities will be linked together to shut down scam operators before their powerful tentacles reach into the pockets of consumers.

"The Citizen Advisory Committee members are a direct line of communication to the Attorney General's office scattered throughout the communities and counties in West Virginia. The members will function as liaison between local citizens of their communities and the Attorney General's office making consumer resources more accessible."

According to the release, Chief Deputy Attorney General Fran Hughes and Jill Miles, Deputy of McGraw' Consumer Protection Division and President of the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators for 2006-2008, also spoke with the committee members.

Miles told the members how the Consumer Protection Division operates. Miles gave an overview of how cases are selected for prosecution and an outline of current cases that the division is pursuing. She also discussed the top 10 complaints received by her division.

Hughes told the committee how the AG's office is funded.

"It is important to General McGraw that we cover the cost of our office and add money to the State's general revenue," Hughes said, according to the release. "We operate like a model law firm, and offer top legal services at a minimal cost to taxpayers."

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