Darrell McGraw has become an object of jest and scorn. The images he conjures up are comical and somewhat contemptible.

Some folks picture him as the kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar, or the cat that ate the canary. Others see him as a flamboyant don whose self-serving generosity with taxpayers dollars cannot camouflage fiscal misdeeds.

For others, he's the odd guy who can't figure out why everybody in the room is staring at him.

Such graphic images of the state's beleaguered attorney general capture our collective consciousness of old Quick Draw McGraw's overly clever antics. We're wise to his ways, and not happy about it.

While West Virginia, thanks to cautious budgeting, is better positioned than most states to withstand the effects of coming cutbacks in federal Medicaid allotments, we nevertheless face the daunting prospect of having to make restitution to the federal government for McGraw's mishandling of million-dollar settlements with pharmaceutical companies accused of overcharging state agencies or misrepresenting dangers of their products.

Rather than give the settlement funds to the state agencies named as plaintiffs, McGraw showered the money on his own pet projects.

The Feds, however, have claimed their share of the reimbursements by withholding Medicaid payments to the state. In March, a district court judge rejected McGraw's challenge to a federal withhold of more than $400,000 in Medicaid payments. Not content with the damage done, McGraw is squandering more state money on a long-shot appeal of that decision.

Old Quick Draw's challenge to a separate withholding of more than $2 million in another matter is likely to fail as well.

Like a mischievous, determined child, Darrell McGraw refuses to acknowledge any guilt for his actions, much less apologize and make amends. His futile effort to evade responsibility -- at our continued legal expense -- only makes him more foolish.

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