First Drip (8/11/19): Lawsuit says Duke board cultivated 'culture of lawlessness'

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A North Carolina judge unsealed large portions of a shareholder lawsuit that asserting that “a culture of lawlessness” at Duke Energy, condoned by its board and abetted by undue influence over state regulators, led to environmental crimes and potentially billions of dollars of liability. Philadelphia shareholder Judy Mesirov filed the suit as a derivative action, meaning she filed it on behalf of Duke, although the power giant is named as a nominal defendant. The true target of the suit is the board of directors and 21 current and former board members and executives.

Protesters held a die-in on 4th Street on Monday evening to support shooting victim Jonathan Ferrell's family, as Jonathan's brother, Willie, stood in the middle of the group holding a #JusticeForJonathan sign. Participants laid in different positions, including face down with hands behind their backs, the way Ferrell lay handcuffed after being shot by then-CMPD officer Randall Kerrick in September 2013. Following the die-in, protestors marched across town to watch a showing of the documentary Ferguson to show solidarity with protesters in that town who have been marching to commemorate the first anniversary of Michael Brown's killing by police there. 

The Iredell County Sheriff's Department released a report yesterday stating that Shawn Fuller admitted to shooting and killing his two young sons in Statesville on Sunday and then turning the gun on himself in an unsuccessful suicide attempt. Fuller repeatedly shot his 3- and 6-year-old sons after assaulting his wife. His wife had hidden his weapon from him before police arrived. Fuller also reportedly confessed that he planned to try to kill law enforcement officers but then tried to kill himself before they arrived. 

The search for an 18-year-old possible drowning victim in Lake Wylie was called off Monday evening, after rescue crews searched through the afternoon for the teen, who reportedly went under while trying to swim to an island. Officials say Windjammer Beach Park will remain closed today as Tega Cay Police and the York County Sheriff's Office continue the search. 

N.C. Rep. Jason Saine, who represents Lincolnton, defended spending $19,000 from his campaign fund on tailored clothes on Monday, saying it's just "part of the cost of doing the business that I'm in." State law allows the use of campaign contributions for expenditures resulting from campaigning for or “holding public office.” Legislative rules require men to wear coats and ties during session. The spending was included in Saine's most recent campaign report and was first reported on by conservative website The Daily Haymaker. 

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