Defense continues to contend ex-coal CEO focused on safety

AP News
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Posted: Oct 27, 2015 6:23 PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — With a key government witness on the stand, a former coal boss' defense team continued to contend his company prioritized safety and disciplined people when they made mistakes.

In Charleston federal court Tuesday, ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship's attorneys continued questioning former Massey subsidiary president Christopher Blanchard. Blanchard has testified since Thursday under an immunity agreement with the government.

Blankenship is charged with conspiring to break mine safety laws and lying to financial regulators about safety at Upper Big Branch, which exploded in 2010, killing 29 men. Blanchard's subsidiary oversaw the mine.

Blanchard continued to tell defense attorney William Taylor that he did not conspire with Blankenship to break safety laws.

Taylor discussed dozens of citations, memos and other documents to say Massey was concerned about safety under Blankenship's watch.


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