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BobStephens.jpg Submitted by WWAY on Tue, 03/25/2014 - 3:07pm.

MICHAEL BIESECKER Associated Press CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) -- Gov. Pat McCrory's top lawyer says his administration was forced to hire an outside attorney to deal with a federal investigation into its regulation of Duke Energy's coal ash dumps because North Carolina's attorney general is politicizing the issue. Attorney General Roy Cooper is seeking the Democratic nomination to run in 2016 against McCrory, a pro-business Republican who worked at Duke for more than 28 years. McCrory Chief Legal Counsel Bob Stephens says Cooper has complicated the issue by using Duke's massive coal ash spill that coated 70 miles of the Dan River in toxic sludge to raise money for his campaign. He was referring to a Cooper for North Carolina website, which asks people to sign a petition urging the governor to clean up North Carolina's water. (Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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