Undue influence: Duke Energy pulled DENR's strings on lawsuit

This should go over well with Federal investigators:

The emails were provided Thursday to The Associated Press by the Southern Environmental Law Center, which had filed notice in January 2013 of its intent to sue Duke under the Clean Water Act.

Within days, the emails show a Duke lobbyist contacted the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, where staff exchanged messages discussing "how Duke wants to be sued."

The agency used its authority to intervene in the lawsuit, quickly negotiating a proposed settlement where the $50 billion company would pay a $99,100 fine but be under no requirement to stop its pollution.

Honestly, I didn't think they could be this stupid. Apparently I overestimated their ability to contemplate more than five minutes into the future.



I need a lawyer

Not really, but I figured that would grab the attention of any attorney perusing BlueNC. ;)

Anyway, I've been scouring the NC General Statutes for a couple of (mind-numbing) hours, trying to find a statute or agency rule dealing with people or organizations that intentionally subvert the process of a lawsuit to protect one side from damages.

I've looked at rules governing ethics, and they all seem to hinge upon "gifts", I've looked at the statute on intervening in a lawsuit, and it says nothing about intent. My mind is mush...