Coal Ash Wednesday: Stith’s refusal to testify begs the question


What is he trying to hide?

Stith declined, on advice of attorney, to answer questions about coal ash pollution, the interaction between Duke Energy and state government, or about enforcement efforts against the utility. But he agreed to answer questions about his comments on Rudo.

SELC argues that Duke Energy and the governor’s office have worked closely together on coal ash, and Stith has first-hand knowledge about the issues. The motion points out that McCrory, who worked for Duke Energy for 29 years, hires the state’s top environmental regulator, and that “many” of the Department of Environmental Quality’s employees no longer have civil service protections under the McCrory administration.

Like many loyal minions, Stith has apparently maneuvered himself into the unenviable position of jeopardizing his job by telling the truth, or doing exactly what he falsely accused a notable scientist of, lying under oath. After his attack on Rudo, he can no longer claim, “I’m not involved in this situation” or some other dodging technique. And the McCrory Administration’s standard approach at maligning the character of its opposition will not impress a judge one whit:

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