BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — An attorney for former Massey Energy chief executive officer Don Blankenship is denying a longtime subordinate’s statement that implicates Blankenship for the first time in mine safety violations.
David Hughart was accused of working with others to ensure miners at White Buck Coal Co. and other Massey-owned operations got advance warning about surprise federal inspections.
He pleaded guilty Thursday to two federal conspiracy charges that are part of an investigation into the 2010 explosion at a Massey mine that killed 29 men in southern West Virginia.
Blankenship attorney William Taylor says he was surprised by Hughart’s statement but says it’s untrue.
He says Blankenship “did not conspire with anybody to do anything illegal or improper” and that he “took every possible step to make the mines under his responsibility safer.”
Official Wire and AP
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