Judge refuses to toss ex-coal CEO Blankenship’s conviction

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Don Blankenship

CHARLESTON, WV (AP) – A federal judge in West Virginia has refused to toss the misdemeanor conviction of former coal CEO Don Blankenship for conspiring to violate mine safety laws.

U.S. District Judge Irene Berger in Beckley issued the ruling Wednesday, rejecting a recommendation from a federal magistrate judge. Berger ruled that despite the prosecution’s failure to disclose numerous documents to the defense during the discovery phase of Blankenship’s trial, the conduct resulted in no prejudice toward him.

Blankenship is the former CEO of Massey Energy. The company owned a mine where a 2010 explosion killed 29 workers in southern West Virginia. Blankenship spent a year in federal prison.

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