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Former Deepwater Horizon manager pleads guilty to destroying evidence



A former manager of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig has pleaded guilty to destroying evidence regarding the explosion in 2010 which claimed the lives of 11 workers.

Anthony Badalamenti, 62, pleaded guilty on Tuesday in a US district court over the allegations, which relates to a post-explosion review, during which he instructed employees to delete data relating to the incident.

Badalamenti, formerly concrete technology director at Halliburton Energy Service Group, faces a maximum one-year custodial sentence and a $100,000 fine.

The rig-owners, BP, have paid billions of dollars in fines and compensation relating to the spill, which devastated the Gulf of Mexico. Local businesses and residents were left out of pocket after tourism dropped dramatically following the spill, which saw 5m barrels worth of oil spilled into the ocean.

Charges were formally laid by US prosecutors last month, and Halliburton also pleaded guilty to destroying evidence. The company was fined $200,000 by District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo and made the subject of a three-year probation order.

Attorney General Eric Holder said, “Halliburton and one of its managers have now been held criminally accountable for their misconduct, underscoring our continued commitment to ensuring that the victims of this tragedy obtain justice.”

Following the imposition of the sentence on Halliburton, the company agreed to make a $55m contribution to the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, which was not part of the settlement.

 Further reading:

BP returns to US courts over Deepwater Horizon spill

On this day in 2010: BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill

BP contests Deepwater Horizon payback scheme amid fears it could run out of money

BP calls on prime minister for help on spiralling Deepwater Horizon fees