State-NewsBRISTOL, Va. (AP) _ 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 sought the investigation 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  advice on how to fight lawsuits seeking at least $28 million in 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 says in a written statement the inspector general will find his office acted appropriately.