RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has asked the federal government to release $30 million from a Medicaid fraud settlement to shore up two underfunded retirement plans for Virginia law enforcement officers.
Cuccinelli said Friday that his office made the request earlier this week to the U.S. Treasury Department, which has determined that Virginia is entitled to $115 million for leading the investigation that led to last year's $1.5 billion national settlement with Abbott Laboratories. The company paid the money to settle allegations that it promoted the anti-seizure drug Depakote for uses that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
The Virginia attorney general's office already has received $10 million to spend on internal programs. The remaining $105 million must be spent on law enforcement or public safety, and the specific plans require the approval of the Treasury Executive Office for Asset Forfeiture in Washington.
The Virginia Retirement System maintains two funds for state law enforcement. One is for Virginia State Police, the other for Capitol Police, campus police, conservation officers, Alcoholic Beverage Control agents, marine resource officers, and state prison and juvenile correctional officers. Cuccienlli said the funds are two of the most underfunded VRS accounts.
The attorney general has said he also wants to use settlement funds for police equipment and training. More specific plans will be announced later, Cuccinelli said.