- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has vetoed a bill dealing with competitive bidding for outside counsel to serve as assistant attorneys general.

In his veto message Wednesday, the Democrat wrote that the bill appears to cede state office and agency decision-making to the attorney general.

Tomblin expressed support for the bill’s intention to establish competitive bidding and qualification requirements for hiring private legal counsel to represent state agencies as plaintiffs.

But he wrote that the bill ignores a state agency’s authority in a case. That’s because the bill says the outside counsel serves at the will and pleasure of the attorney general and that the attorney general retains control over the case.

Tomblin’s veto message says that the state agency should have control, not the attorney general.

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