Top Gov. Cooper aides taking questions over pipeline deal

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(Photo: Atlantic Coast Pipeline)

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Roy Cooper’s top aides are taking questions from investigators the General Assembly hired to scrutinize a 2018 side deal between the Democratic governor’s office and utilities building the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Deputy Chief of Staff Julia White and adviser Ken Eudy appeared at Friday’s legislative subcommittee.

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Panel Republican leaders want to know more about a memorandum of understanding in which pipeline builders agreed to give $58 million for a special fund for environmental mitigation and other projects. Private investigators have been collecting information.

Cooper and his office have said the side agreement wasn’t a prerequisite for the companies obtaining a key state regulatory permit. Four state regulators have signed statements saying they knew nothing about the memorandum or its contents before it was announced.