CHARLESTON, W.Va.  — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says he is partnering with the state Auditor’s Office to ensure opioid settlement money will be and is being used for its intended purposes as outlined in the West Virginia First Memorandum of Understanding.                 The Attorney General and Auditor are sending letters to the state’s cities and counties to provide information and guidance to assist them as they begin to receive and plan to spend their share of the opioid settlement money. “This is another layer in the checks and balances to make sure the money from settlements are used in the best possible way, to attack the opioid scourge head-on,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “I am pleased to partner with the State Auditor’s Office to bring its proven track record of transparency, accountability, and service to local governments to amplify the collaborative effort between the Attorney General’s Office and local governments around the state.” The MOU created the first plan of action to address the opioid crisis, and was the first step toward healing the battered communities in this state; it details the allocation method for any settlement funds or judgments received as a result of the various lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, distributors and other parties in the pharmaceutical supply chain. The newly-formed West Virginia First Foundation will receive 72.5% of all settlement and judgment dollars. Another 24.5% will go directly to local governments, while 3% will be held in escrow by the state.  Local governments have broad discretion to decide which approved uses are best to spend their share of the settlement money. This new partnership with the Auditor’s Office will help ensure that not only the terms of the settlement are met but also provide additional resources for local governments as they put these money to use fighting the opioid epidemic.  Read a copy of one the letters  here.  W.Va. First Memorandum of Understanding can be read here.