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Shareholder Lawsuit Claims Duke Energy Influenced Regulators

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The plaintiff in a shareholder lawsuit Duke Energy faces over massive coal ash spill claims the company improperly influenced North Carolina's environmental regulators.

The Charlotte Observer reports shareholder Judy Mesirov says Duke directors improperly influenced the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to minimize regulation under the administration of Gov. Pat McCrory, a former Duke employee.

Department spokesman Jamie Kritzer says the department doesn't comment on pending litigation.

Duke spokesman David Scanzoni said Monday the allegation is baseless.

Mesirov's lawsuit is one of six similar lawsuits filed over a February 2014 spill that sent tons of ash into the Dan River. The plaintiffs accuse Duke Energy officers and directors of knowingly allowing the company to repeatedly violate state and federal environmental laws in its storage of coal ash.

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