The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

November 28, 2012

3 BP employees to be arraigned in oil spill probe

— NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Two BP rig supervisors and a former BP executive were scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday on criminal charges stemming from the deadly Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and the company's response to the massive 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP well site leaders Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine were indicted this month on manslaughter charges in the death of 11 rig workers. The federal indictment accuses them of disregarding abnormal high-pressure readings that should have been glaring indications of trouble just before the blowout of BP's Macondo well.

Former BP executive David Rainey was charged separately with concealing information from Congress about the amount of oil that was leaking from the well.

Their defense attorneys have vowed to fight the charges.

The hearing comes a day after a BP lawyer entered a not-guilty plea for the company as it was arraigned on related criminal charges. The plea Tuesday in federal court was a procedural move paving the way for the company to plead guilty at a later date.

BP announced earlier this month that it will plead guilty to manslaughter, obstruction of Congress and other charges and pay a record $4.5 billion in penalties to resolve a Justice Department probe of the disaster.

Attorneys for BP and the Justice Department are scheduled to meet Dec. 11 with a federal judge to discuss a date for pleading guilty.

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig, owned by Transocean Ltd. but operated on behalf of BP, was drilling in the Gulf of Mexico about 50 miles southeast of the Louisiana coast the night of April 20, 2010, when it was rocked by an explosion. The rig burned for about 36 hours before sinking to the Gulf bottom a mile below the surface.

The bodies of 11 workers were never recovered.

The blast led to the nation's worst offshore oil disaster as millions of gallons of crude oil spewed from BP's well.

1
Text Only
State and Nation
Poll

Do you think Athens-Limestone County is better prepared than in April 2011 to provide shelter from a major tornado?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee