Commonwealth’s attorneys offices from Lee, Scott and Wise counties received grants last week from a portion of Medicaid fraud settlement money that was set aside for local prosecutors offices by the Virginia Attorney General’s Office.
Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said a total of $2 million was set aside for use by the state’s 120 commonwealth’s attorneys offices. That money is part of $20 million earmarked for prosecutors that Cuccinelli’s office received from its 2012 Medicaid fraud settlement with pharmaceutical company Abbott Laboratories.
The remaining $18 million was placed in an interest bearing perpetual fund that will be distributed annually to pay for mandatory training for all commonwealth’s attorneys and assistants.
“This is something that local prosecutors have been asking for for years — a reliable way to pay for their required annual training that takes some of the burden off the taxpayers and even the local prosecutors themselves,” Cuccinelli said. “With this money, it’s the criminals who are ensuring that the people responsible for putting them away are learning better ways to do just that.”
Commonwealth’s attorneys and their assistants spend an average of $1,200 per position annually for mandatory training courses.
Cuccinelli spokesman Brian Gottstein said all 739 of Virginia’s elected commonwealth’s attorneys and assistant commonwealth’s attorneys received one-time grants from the $2 million portion totaling $2,700 per attorney.For an expanded version of this article, please see Monday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.