The ex-executive, currently awaiting a sentencing hearing on a misdemeanor conspiracy conviction that carries up to one year in jail, told a federal judge this week that he should not have to pay for Alpha’s legal fees and other expenses.
Specifically, Alpha is seeking, and prosecutors are supporting, claims for $13 million from its internal probe of the disaster, $4.3 million for legal expenses and $10 million in fines Alpha has paid related to the incident since taking over Massey in 2011.
Blankenship’s attorneys said in a March 7 filing that Alpha is not a victim and therefore is not entitled to compensation; additionally, they said, it is against Blankenship’s Constitutional rights.
“This is an unprecedented attempt to add Draconian penalties to an offense that Congress has classified as a misdemeanor, and Alpha has no right to recover any of these expenditures from Mr. Blankenship,” the attorney’s wrote in its opposition.
Blankenship was convicted December 3. He is scheduled to be sentenced April 6.