Former Halliburton engineer charged with destroying evidence

Sept. 20, 2013 at 11:45 AM
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NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- The Justice Department said a former Halliburton director instructed two employees to destroy evidence related to the massive 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The department charged Anthony Badalamenti, a former cementing technology director, with destroying evidence, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Allegedly, Badalamenti was instructed to keep the data, which did not support Halliburton's assertion that BP, which operated the Deepwater Horizon oil platform, did not follow Halliburton instructions on the use of its equipment.

Badalamenti was charged in a bill of information, which suggests he is cooperating with authorities, the Journal said.

On Thursday, Halliburton formally agreed to pay $55 million to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation on top of a $200,000 fine for destroying evidence related to the oil spill that began with an explosion aboard the oil platform in April 2010.

Eleven oil workers died in the explosion, which also triggered an oil spill that could not be contained until mid-July. By then, millions of barrels of oil had been released into the water.

Badalamenti could face one year in prison and an unspecified fine. He is charged with a misdemeanor, the Journal said.

He is one of five persons who have been charged with crimes. Two engineers were charged with manslaughter. A BP employee was charged with destroying evidence and another was charged with lying to authorities about the size of the spill.

Halliburton this year increased the amount of money it put aside to cover damages associated with the spill from $300 million to $1.3 billion.

BP, which operated the platform, has agreed to pay $4 billion in fines related to the spill.

Badalamenti's lawyer declined to comment, the Journal said.

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