A tip-of-the-hat to the Bristol Virginia Democratic Committee

A political brouhaha erupted Tuesday over news that Virginia’s top fraud investigator is scrutinizing how the attorney general’s office has handled a series of federal lawsuits over natural gas royalties.

The investigation could end with a wide range of possible findings – from no wrongdoing, to a breach of ethics, or even a call for criminal charges.

The day began with a flurry of emails by state Democrats highlighting revelations reported by the Bristol Herald Courier that the Office of Inspector General is looking into whether a senior staffer for AG and GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli improperly advised lawyers for energy companies embroiled in a legal battle with Southwest Virginia landowners.

It peaked with Cuccinelli sidestepping reporters’ questions about the state inquiry just moments after he unrolled his campaign’s educational platform during a lengthy event at a Richmond school.

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