Monday, June 10, 2013

Sen. Puckett calls for independent investigation into Attorney General’s Office

Senator Phillip Puckett (D-Russell) on Monday announced that he will be asking the Office of the State Inspector General, along with the Governor and the Attorney General, for an investigation into the conduct of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s office. Reports reveal that an assistant state attorney general is advising a private company seeking to avoid paying royalties owed to Virginia property owners he said.

Emails revealed that Sharon Pigeon, an assistant attorney general under Ken Cuccinelli, is aiding EQT Production Co. and CNX Gas Co., two natural gas companies who are being sued by landowners in southwest Virginia for their refusal to pay them millions of dollars in natural gas royalties. A federal judge on the case, Judge Pamela Meade Sargeant, expressed “shock” that the AG’s office, whose mission statement is “faithfully serving Virginia and her people,” would be actively assisting private corporations instead of citizens of the Commonwealth who are suing for tens of millions in unpaid royalties.

“With this much at stake, it was positively outrageous to learn last week that Ken Cuccinelli’s office has been acting not as a neutral observer in this case, but as an active adviser to the companies who are seeking to avoid paying Virginians millions in royalties.” Senator Puckett stated. ” Virginians deserve a full explanation of his conduct in this case to accompany an Inspector General’s report on whether any laws or ethics rules have been broken in this disturbing matter,” he added.

The Cuccinelli For Governor Campaign released a statement from Delegate Terry Kilgore saying it was an attempt by the McAuliffe campaign and state Democrats to politicize the Attorney General’s Office’s defense of the Virginia Oil and Gas Act:

“The Attorney General’s office was following one of is core responsibilities and legal obligations: defending the constitutionality of Virginia statutes—in this case, the Virginia Gas and Oil Act. Any suggestion that Attorney General Cuccinelli or his office was involved in any impropriety should be dismissed for the Democrat talking points they so clearly are.” – Delegate Terry Kilgore (R-1), Chairman of the Commerce and Labor Committee.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2013, Elections, Politics, State Politics

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