Former Halliburton manager accused of destroying evidence after 2010 oil spill
NEW ORLEANS — A former Halliburton manager was charged on Thursday with destroying evidence after BP's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a case that coincides with a guilty plea to a related charge by the Houston-based oilfield services company.
Anthony Badalamenti, who had been the cementing technology director for Halliburton Energy Services Inc., was charged in federal court with instructing two other employees to delete data during a post-spill review of the cement job on BP's blown-out well.
Halliburton was BP PLC's cement contractor on the drilling rig that exploded in the gulf in April 2010, killing 11 workers and triggering the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
Badalamenti, 61, of Katy, Texas, is charged in a bill of information, which typically signals that a defendant is cooperating with prosecutors. His attorney, Tai H. Park, declined to comment.
On Thursday, a federal judge accepted a plea agreement that calls for Halliburton to pay a $200,000 fine for a misdemeanor stemming from Badalamenti's alleged conduct.
U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo said she believes the plea agreement is reasonable and agreed with prosecutors and the company that it “adequately reflects the seriousness of the offense.”
Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement that Halliburton's guilty plea and the charge against Badalamenti “mark the latest steps forward in the Justice Department's efforts to achieve justice on behalf of all those affected by the Deepwater Horizon explosion, oil spill and environmental disaster.”
The plea deal has its critics, however. Allison Fisher, an outreach director for the Public Citizen nonprofit advocacy group, called it a “travesty.”
“Rather than rubber stamp the plea agreement,” she said in a statement, “the court should have rejected the bargain-basement deal because it fails to hold the corporation accountable for its criminal acts and will not deter future corporate crime.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- AP: Hagel to resign as secretary of defense
- Boy with fake gun shot by officer dies
- Obama defends executive action on illegals
- Tension, anxiety mount in Ferguson as grand jury ruling awaited
- Vatican prosecutor did not report abusive Catholic priest
- Letter that inspired Beat poet Kerouac discovered
- Ohio dairy farmers cashing in on gas well boom
- 3-mile buffer suggested for grouse breeding, oil and gas drilling
- Police code of conduct aims to curb unlawful seizures from motorists
- Former Pa. state worker charged with stealing 610 helmets
- Speaker Boehner vows House response to Obama’s immigration policy changes