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Key Votes

HB 4490 - Amends Attorney General Conflict of Interest Laws - Key Vote

West Virginia Key Votes

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Legislation - Referred to Committee (Senate) -
Legislation - Bill Passed (House) (52-44) - (Key vote)

Title: Amends Attorney General Conflict of Interest Laws

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that amends attorney general conflict of interest laws.

Highlights:
  • Requires the attorney general to recuse him or herself from a cause if a potential or actual conflict of interest exists and appoint a special assistant attorney general to continue to engage in the cause (Chapter 5, Art. 3, Sec. 1a).
  • Prohibits an individual from being appointed to be the special assistant attorney general if the individual has a conflict of interest with any party involved in the cause (Chapter 5, Art. 3, Sec. 1a). 
  • Requires the governor to monitor and supervise the special assistant attorney general (Chapter 5, Art. 3, Sec. 1a).
  • Specifies that a conflict of interest exists under certain circumstances including, but not limited to, when the attorney general or a member of his or her immediate family has been employed, under contract, or received compensation from a party to any cause under the jurisdiction of his or her office within the past 5 years prior to the start of the cause (Chapter 5, Art. 3, Sec. 1a).
  • Requires the attorney general to include certain provisions in a contract for legal services with a private attorney or firm including, but not limited to, the following provisions (Chapter 5, Art. 3, Sec. 3):
    • A statement of the hourly rate or contingent fee to be paid; and
    • Certification by the contractor that he or she or any individual in practice with the contractor represent an individual who has a claim involving a matter for which the contractor has been retained by the attorney general. 
  • Establishes the “Attorney General’s Litigation Support Fund” to consist of all attorney fees, expenses, and costs awarded to the attorney general in any cause (Chapter 5, Art. 3, Sec. 5).
  • Requires the attorney general to deposit all funds recovered from a settlement of a cause or claim asserted by or against the people of West Virginia, the State of West Virginia, or any of its departments, agencies, intuitions, officers, employees, or political subdivisions into the state’s general revenue fund, unless the funds are specifically allocated by the court as attorney fees, costs, and expenses (Chapter 5, Art. 3, Sec. 5).
  • Authorizes the attorney general to use funds from the Attorney General’s Litigation Support Fund if the legislature has appropriated use of funds in accordance with  the West Virginia Constitution (Chapter 5, Art. 3, Sec. 5).
  • Requires the attorney general to deliver certain reports biannually to the governor that include, but are not limited to, the following information (Chapter 5, Art. 3, Sec. 4):
    • The terms and conditions upon which the attorney general has engaged the use of a special assistant attorney general or an individual to perform legal services; 
    • The amounts paid by the attorney general to a special assistant attorney general or an individual contracted to perform legal services for representing the state, a public officer, or an employee of the state; and
    • The amount of judgments, settlements, costs, and fees awarded by the courts to the attorney general, a special assistant attorney general, or an individual contracted for legal services in cases closed or concluded during the previous fiscal year of the state. 
Legislation - Introduced (House) -

Title: Amends Attorney General Conflict of Interest Laws

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