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Board admonishes former Justice agency director

A state board that oversees lawyers in West Virginia admonished one of the governor’s former agency directors for moonlighting at his old law firm while serving as the Lottery Director, defying state law.

The Lawyer Disciplinary Board found no evidence that former Lottery Director Alan Larrick used state resources in his private practice or leveraged his state job to benefit his legal clients.

However, the board found Larrick “knowingly continued to engage in the practice of law while serving and receiving a state funded salary as the Director of the West Virginia Lottery Commission in violation of West Virginia Code.”

Larrick, who could not be reached for comment, resigned from the helm of the West Virginia Lottery Aug. 31, 2018. This came after repeatedly receiving extensions from the Lawyer Disciplinary Board on his deadline to respond to the complaint filed against him.

The board opted against stricter punishment because his resignation from the Lottery put him in compliance with the law.

GOP operative Rob Cornelius, an outspoken critic of Gov. Jim Justice, filed the complaint.

While Larrick told the board Cornelius’ complaint was “politically motivated,” the board found the complainant’s motives to be irrelevant given the facts of the matter.

Larrick’s ouster came just one day after legal sports betting launched in West Virginia, and weeks before the Lottery’s top lawyer was also forced out. State lawmakers raised concerns at the time that Justice may have forced the two out when they rebuffed his efforts to change sports betting rules to assure that professional sport leagues would get a cut of the sports betting revenue.

The Gazette-Mail first reported on Larrick’s ongoing private employment while serving as Lottery Director in August 2017.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly described Larrick's position as a cabinet secretary.

Reach Jake Zuckerman at

jake.zuckerman@wvgazettemail.com,

304-348-4814 or follow

@jake_zuckerman on Twitter.

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