When the Attorney General's Office wins or settles a lawsuit, the money goes into the Consumer Protection Fund.
While some of that money has gone to entities for whom the cases were filed, there was no real rhyme or reason for other spending during McGraw's tenure, Prezioso said.
Morrisey said no one in the office kept track of the money.
"There's a great need. The account needs to be managed," he said. "The books were not being kept in any meaningful way for this fund."
The bill awaiting Tomblin's signature calls for about $1.86 million of the $7.46 million to be removed from the fund to actually be returned to the Attorney General's Office.
Some of the money will be spent on technology upgrades, including a new phone system, but about $425,000 is slated for wages and benefits for seven staff members to manage the Consumer Protection Fund.
That sum will pay wages and benefits for one year, but the office plans to continue to fund the positions, said Morrisey spokeswoman Beth Ryan.
The money will pay for an assistant controller and an accounts receivable employee to keep the books for the fund. They will help segregate money intended for restitution and money used to operate the office. Morrisey said that wasn't done before.
Morrisey said he also needs two employees to scan thousands of documents. He wants to digitize office records because he thinks the current paper-based system doesn't work well.
The money also will pay for two information technology staffers and a legal secretary, Ryan said.
Most of the remaining money will be used for technology purchases, including phones and computer systems.
Morrisey plans to purchase a system to track his employees' efforts. Attorneys in both the public and private spheres are expected to bill their clients for the work that is done, he said.
Some state agencies are billed for specific costs while others pay hourly rates.
The Legislature also appropriates money specifically for work on appellate matters. The Attorney General's Office handles any case involving the state that goes before the state Supreme Court.
A big operation
The office employs between 190 and 200 people, and about half are attorneys, Ryan said. She said about 47 work in the main office, and more than 50 people work in the Quarrier Street location.
There are 32 people dedicated to consumer protection at that site and four more based in Martinsburg. There are also 26 people devoted to workers' compensation, 11 working on appellate matters and four in the civil rights division.
Ryan said the office has employees at 15 Department of Motor Vehicles locations and embedded with more than a dozen other state entities, including West Virginia University.
Upon his arrival, Morrisey said he found no way to keep track of who got billed for what. Employees didn't turn in their billable hours either.
"Different people billed a wide range of hours. But only a limited number of lawyers actually kept their billable time . . . or submitted it into the system," he said.
He didn't name names. He was very hesitant to talk about employees at all.
The office is trying to move away from a 9-to-5 mindset. There will be personnel reviews and employee feedback, something Morrisey said is crucial to improving the office.
"With some of the advantages, with new technology, if we can track individual lawyers' productivity, we think that we may be able to get more work out of individual lawyers and just have the ability to manage their work product better," he said.
Office administrators also want to purchase software and hardware to upgrade the internal computer system. The upgrade would allow attorneys to better track cases, collaborate on research and increase protection of confidential information, Morrisey said.
The office is planning to request bids for all of the equipment, he said.
McGraw could not be reached for comment.