Former mine superintendent May to plead guilty in UBB case - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV

Former mine superintendent May to plead guilty in UBB case

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BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — The former superintendent of the Upper Big Branch mine will enter a plea next week.

Gary May will appear before U.S. District Judge Irene Berger in Beckley on March 22.

May has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the federal government and is apparently cooperating with prosecutors in a continuing criminal investigation of the 2010 explosion that killed 29 men. The blast at the former Massey Energy mine was the worst U.S. coal mining disaster in four decades.

Last week, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin asked Berger to schedule a hearing.

May is the highest-ranking company official charged in the blast.

May was accused, among other things, of disabling a methane gas monitor, falsifying safety records and using code words to tip off miners underground about surprise inspections.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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