Gov. Justice Takes Swift Action on Middletown Mall Leasing Issue
CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice has acted quickly to remedy the waste of taxpayer dollars uncovered today by the State Auditor’s Office. The Auditor’s Office announced that the Department of Health and Human Resources paid almost $1 million dollars to Pin Oak Properties in Morgantown, WV, which operated the Middletown Mall until Pin Oak filed for bankruptcy in 2015. This money was paid on a lease that DHHR had attempted to cancel in 2015 when the agency vacated the space. Payments continued until Feb. 28, 2018.
Gov. Justice said, “This is an issue that began in the previous administration, and it appears that the fault lands squarely in the lap of both the DHHR and the Department of Administration’s Real Estate Division. Immediately after I became aware of this gross misconduct a couple months ago, I directed that anyone involved be disciplined. As of today, two employees remain suspended without pay, and one has been terminated. I also directed both agencies to use every available method to recover these misspent taxpayer dollars.”