Show off your holiday lights and you could win an iPad! Enter your photo by December 13. Winner will be selected by popular vote.
A state report found that Sharon Pigeon aided two natural gas companies “inappropriately.”
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
RICHMOND — An assistant attorney general “inappropriately” advised two natural gas companies that are being sued by Southwest Virginia property owners, but her superiors were not aware of it at the time, according to a state inspector general’s report.
The assistant attorney general “inappropriately used commonwealth resources in support of the aforementioned private litigation beyond the scope of her authority and position,” State Inspector General Michael Morehart wrote Tuesday to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor.
“The inspector general’s report proves what we have said from the beginning: Attorney General Cuccinelli had no prior knowledge of the content of these emails and he did not authorize them,” Brian Gottstein, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, said in a statement Tuesday.
In early June, a federal judge said she was shocked that one of Cuccinelli’s assistant attorneys general, Sharon Pigeon, had assisted two natural gas companies that are being sued by Southwest Virginia property owners who say they are owed millions in royalties for their natural gas deposits.
The attorney general’s office advises the Virginia Gas and Oil Board. The board is not a defendant in the potential class-action lawsuit. But it intervened in the dispute with Pittsburgh-area energy companies EQT Production and CNX Gas, a division of Consol Energy.
Gottstein said the attorney general has “taken steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”
Pigeon “was told to cease any communications with the gas companies’ attorneys, and she will no longer be monitoring the cases for further constitutional challenges to the Virginia Gas and Oil Act; instead, a litigation specialist in the Richmond office will handle that.”
Weather Journal7 wintry scenarios for Sunday