Beginning Next Week: InsideCounsel will become part of Corporate Counsel. Bringing these two industry-leading websites together will now give you comprehensive coverage of the full spectrum of issues affecting today's General Counsel at companies of all sizes. You will continue to receive expert analysis on key issues including corporate litigation, labor developments, tech initiatives and intellectual property, as well as Women, Influence & Power in Law (WIPL) professional development content. Plus we'll be serving all ALM legal publications from one interconnected platform, powered by Law.com, giving you easy access to additional relevant content from other InsideCounsel sister publications.

To prevent a disruption in service, you will be automatically redirected to the new site next week. Thank you for being a valued InsideCounsel reader!

X

More On

Former Massey mine chief pleads guilty to safety conspiracy

Ex-Upper Big Branch superintendent Gary May faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine

Nearly two years after the Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion killed 29 workers, the mine’s former superintendent has pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge.

On April 5, 2010, a blast at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia caused the deadliest U.S. mine disaster since 1970. Soon after, the mine’s owner, Performance Coal Co., and its parent company, Massey Energy, fell under government scrutiny for suspected safety violations.

Former Upper Big Branch superintendent Gary May admitted yesterday to federal prosecutors that he obstructed Mine Safety and Health Administration enforcement efforts between February 2008 and April 2010 by warning mine workers about upcoming inspections and concealing violations by falsifying records, and manipulating airflow and methane monitors to fool regulators into thinking the mine was compliant. He did not, however, admit to any actions directly linked to the April 2010 explosion.

May is the highest-ranking Massey official charged in connection to the explosion. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and is scheduled for sentencing on Aug. 9.

According to NPR, May’s guilty plea is a key step in the government’s efforts to criminally charge other Massey corporate executives.

Ashley Post

Bio and more articles

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.