EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSMINE SAFETY CHARGES
from Eyewitness News Online
Longtime Massey Energy Official Charged With Federal Crimes
Reported by: Bob Aaron
Web Producer: Bethany Simmons
Reported: Nov. 28, 2012 10:03 AM EST
Updated: Nov. 29, 2012 8:35 AM EST
Beckley, Raleigh County , West Virginia
A longtime Massey Energy division president has been charged with federal crimes.
Longtime Massey Division President David Hughart, 53, of Crab Orchard was charged with conspiring to impede the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and conspiring to violate mine health and safety laws, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin's Office.
Hughart is the former president of Massey's Green Valley Resource Group and was charged in federal district court in Beckley on Tuesday. He is the highest-ranking official charged to date in an ongoing federal investigation.
Hughart and others at Massey conspired to violate health and safety laws, then to conceal those violations by warning mining operations when MSHA inspectors were coming, Goodwin's office said.
The alleged criminal conspiracies involved not just Hughart’s Green Valley group but also other Massey mines, over nearly a decade of time from 2000 through March 2010.
“Miners deserve a safe place to earn a living,” Goodwin said. “Some mine officials, unfortunately, seem to believe health and safety laws are optional. That attitude has no place in the mining industry or any industry.”
Goodwin said that Hughart is cooperating in the investigation and has agreed to plead guilty.
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