An assistant state attorney general improperly advised two energy companies in a natural gas drilling royalty fight against southwest Virginia landowners, but she did so without her supervisor’s knowledge, according to a report from the Inspector General’s Office obtained by The Associated Press.
In the report issued Tuesday to the Attorney General’s Office, Inspector General Michael F. A. Morehart wrote that the assistant attorney general “inappropriately used commonwealth resources in support” of private litigation fighting class-action lawsuits by landowners who claim the companies cheated them out of tens of millions of dollars in royalty payments for natural gas drilled on their properties.
The assistant attorney general, whose name was redacted from the report, provided “litigation strategy” to attorneys for the energy companies when she claimed to be defending the constitutionality of a state law, the report concluded.
Of course, the part about Cuccinelli supposedly having no clue about what was going on – for a long time, by the way – in his own office is highly dubious, to put it mildly. And meanwhile, even after Cuccinelli found out what had happened with the attorney (Sharon Pigeon) in his own office, he took no action. Zero. Nada. He didn’t discipline Pigeon in any way, let alone fire her for wildly unethical and inappropriate actions. And he hasn’t returned the $111,044 he’s received from CONSOL. So pathetic.