AG defends decision not to sue opioid makers

Attorney General Brad Schimel is again defending his decision not to sue prescription opioid manufacturers.

Purdue Pharma and other drugmakers are facing hundreds of lawsuits from governments across the country alleging they exacerbated the opioid crisis.

Schimel, a Republican, has taken pointed criticism from Democrats for not suing, alleging he’s beholden to opioid manufacturers because he’s received $750 in campaign contributions from the industry.

Schimel reiterated during a Madison luncheon on Thursday that he’s part of a multi-state investigation of the pharmaceutical industry.

He says a lawsuit could take years and the investigation is a much faster path to a settlement. As for the contributions, he said he didn’t know he had received them until he read about them in the newspaper.