There seems to be surprise around town that Duke Energy COO Jim Turner has resigned. Not if you have been following the Duke scandal in Indiana.

Duke essentially hired away Indiana’s top regulatory lawyer while Turner continued to smooze the chairman of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, David Lott Hardy. Details dropped about a week ago:

In dozens of e-mails, obtained by The Indianapolis Star under an open records request, the two men schmoozed and joked over all sorts of personal topics, sometimes trading messages eight or 10 times a day. At one point, Hardy offered advice on what kind of BMW Turner should buy. Another time, they talked about Butler University’s basketball championship games. Several times, they had frank discussions on private personnel matters involving Duke officials and job candidates.

Many viewed Turner as second in command to Duke CEO Jim Rogers a possible successor some day. Not now. Oh, and the Local Rent Seekers Guild has another top position to fill.

Bonus Observation: The FBI is investigating all this back in Indiana.