The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission's ethics officer has been reassigned following questions over her role in allowing a top commission attorney to take a job with Duke Energy.

The agency's spokeswoman says chief administrative law judge Loraine Seyfried has been removed from all cases connected to Duke's $2.9 billion coal-gasification plant in southwestern Indiana.

The move follows The Indianapolis Star reporting that Duke's top Indiana executive on Aug. 1 e-mailed the utility commission's then-chairman, outlining what Seyfried should include in her ethics review of Duke's hiring of Scott Storms.

Storms played a key role in overseeing the coal-gasification plant project.

Commission spokeswoman Danielle McGrath says reassigning that project is aimed at ensuring public confidence in its handling.

Seyfried didn't immediately return a message seeking comment Wednesday.

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