Virginia's inspector general has confirmed that he's investigating whether an assistant attorney general improperly advised energy companies in a court fight with southwest Virginia landowners over natural gas royalties.
Michael Morehart tells the Bristol Herald Courier he has no timetable for completing the investigation.
A Democratic lawmaker asked the inspector general to investigate after a federal judge expressed shock over Assistant Attorney General Sharon Pigeon's emails to attorneys for EQT Production Co. and CNX. In the emails, Pigeon seems to offer legal advice on how the lawyers should fight lawsuits seeking at least $28 million in natural gas royalties tied up in state-mandated escrow accounts.
Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's gubernatorial campaign has received more than $100,000 from CNX's parent company.
Cuccinelli refused to comment on the investigation Tuesday.