It’s hard to figure out what the lessons are here, but the audacity and sheer political spectacle can’t go unremarked: the disgraced former CEO of Massey Energy, Don Blankenship, is attempting a major comeback in the public arena by launching a serious run to become a Republican U.S. Senator for West Virginia, having emerged from federal prison only a year ago after a conviction related to a 2010 explosion at a Massey coal mine that killed 29 miners.
Blankenship was convicted in 2015 by a federal jury in West Virginia of conspiracy to violate U.S. mine safety laws in relation to the deadly explosion caused by a buildup of methane at the firm’s Upper Big Branch underground metallurgical coal mine in Montcoal, W. Va., 48 km south of Charleston.
The conviction was unprecedented in U.S. mining history in that prosecutors targeted a high ranking executive for workplace related safety violations, though Blankenship was acquitted of the more serious charges of lying to regulators and investors regarding the accident. Indeed the conviction was for a misdemeanour with a maximum prison time of one year, which Blankenship served in full, followed by a one-year probation that just ended.
Continue reading at The Northern Miner.