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West Virginia Attorney General's Hiring Choice Criticized

Patrick Morrisey, W. Va. Attorney General
Janet Kunicki
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia's attorney general has hired a veteran political operative for a new position as his deputy chief of staff.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that Attorney General Patrick Morrisey eliminated a job in his office's consumer protection division to hire 51-year-old Lance James Henderson of Walla Walla, Washington. His salary is $99,500.

In 2014, Henderson worked for Maine Gov. Paul LePage's re-election campaign. For the past 25 years, he's been a consultant to politicians on field operations and building voter databases.

Henderson's hiring by Republican Morrisey is generating criticism among Democrats. Chris Regan is vice chairman of the state Democratic Party. He says hiring a political operative "at a huge salary" is a breach of trust and ethics.

Morrisey spokesman Anthony Martin defended the hiring.

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