West Virginia governor family's coal firm sues regulators

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A coal company run by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice's family has filed lawsuits blaming two Kentucky regulators for the company's reclamation delays that could result in $4.5 million in fines.

The Courier-Journal reports that Kentucky Fuel Corporation sued Kentucky Department for Natural Resources Commissioner Allen Luttrell and Deputy Commissioner John Small.

The Pike County Circuit Court lawsuits seek money from the regulators personally, not from the state.

The claims center on whether Justice is violating a 2014 agreement with Kentucky regulators, who cited Kentucky Fuel and other Justice companies with hundreds of coal mine reclamation violations in eight eastern Kentucky counties.

Kentucky's Energy cabinet spokesman John Mura said the lawsuits appear to be attempts to intimidate.

Attorney Richard Getty, who represents Kentucky Fuel, said it's about accountability, not intimidation.

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