We are part of an ongoing monitoring (effort) and investigation along with our partners at DHS and other agencies that are involved.
(PRWEB) May 03, 2010
Washington, DC (PRWEB) May 3, 2010 -- Commenting on the BP oil disaster, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said today, “We are part of an ongoing monitoring (effort) and investigation along with our partners at DHS and other agencies that are involved."
While a DOJ spokesperson later said it was not a criminal probe at this point, and criminal convictions for federal off-shore drilling safety violations are rare, they are not unprecedented.
Former federal prosecutor Janet L. Goldstein obtained a conviction against Texaco and its drilling contractor, Helmerich & Payne, Inc., when the companies failed to perform federally-mandated blow-out prevention (BOP) tests on an off-shore platform and covered up the failures with falsified documents. Texaco and Helmerich & Payne pled guilty to criminal violations and were fined over $10 million in 1988 and 1989 for the violations.
Goldstein, now a whistle-blower attorney in private practice in Washington D.C., said the DOJ’s investigation is “absolutely necessary” in light of the disaster. “As we saw in the Texaco case, there is tremendous pressure on oil workers to not let anything disrupt operations or temporarily shut down production, even in the face of serious safety concerns. We can’t speculate on the BP disaster this early in the game, but the DOJ should be putting its best resources into this investigation.”
Goldstein, a partner in Vogel, Slade and Goldstein, LLC, may be reached at (202) 537-5900 or jgoldstein(at)vsg-law(dot)com.