PDA

View Full Version : I Was an Oil Spill Scapegoat




Anti Federalist
11-10-2015, 01:18 AM
I Was an Oil Spill Scapegoat

http://www.wsj.com/articles/i-was-an-oil-spill-scapegoat-1447019267

At 6:30 a.m. on April 24, 2012, federal agents, wearing Kevlar vests and with guns drawn, raided my home in Katy, Texas, with a warrant for my arrest. This was as shocking to me as it would be for any normal, law-abiding citizen.

Iím not a drug dealer, violent criminal or money launderer. Iím an engineer. In 2010 I helped stop the BP oil spill after an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig left a damaged well spilling crude directly into the Gulf of Mexico.

On the morning of the raid I left early for work, so I was not at home when it occurred. My wife was alone and had to deal with the shock of a squad of FBI agents ripping through our home. Weíve seen it a hundred times on ďLaw and Order.Ē They raced through our house and badgered and interrogated my wife.

Later that morning, after a frantic call from my wife, I drove to a local police station to surrender. As bad as that day was, I had no idea what was about to happen. I didnít realize I had become a central focus of the Justice Departmentís investigation into the BP oil spill. For the next three and a half years, a Justice task force was dedicated to putting me in jail.

What had I done to merit this? I had worked as hard as I knew how for nearly 90 straight days to help stop the Deepwater Horizon spill. Plugging the well, as fast as possible, was the focus of my life.

Looking back now at the Justice Departmentís conduct, I realize that I made one egregious error: I naÔvely believed that the task force simply wanted the truth. I was certain that once it had the full record of my actions, everything would be fine, and the trauma my family and I had gone through would end.

I was in for a rude awakening. Facts were not what the investigators wanted. They wanted a conviction. They wanted to prove to the public that their lengthy, expensive investigation was successful. And success meant conviction. I had banked on the truth saving me, but the truth was not enough.

I grew up fishing and duck hunting with my father in the marshes and coastal waters of Louisiana. I knew from the time I was in the eighth grade that I wanted to be an engineer. So when I was asked to help stop the spill, I was honored and deeply motivated. This was what I had prepared my whole life to do. I believed I could make a difference for my industry and home state.

And we succeeded. Lost in the aftermath of recriminations and lawsuits is the fact that the team charged with stopping the biggest offshore oil disaster in history did its job as fast and effectively as it knew how. This doesnít in any way minimize the tragedy or the mistakes that allowed the spill to happen.

Nearly two years after the successful capping of the well, I was charged in May 2012 with two felony counts of obstruction of justiceópotentially exposing me to up to 40 years in federal prison. My only previous exposure to the judicial system had been a speeding ticket. I didnít even know what a grand jury was.

My case centered on the fact that I had deleted from my iPhone two extended text-message conversations, one of which was almost entirely personal; the other included personal texts as well as material related to our efforts to kill the well. I acknowledged from day one that I had deleted the texts. Any information related to our work, including flow-rate simulations, was fully addressed in the thousands of emails and documents I gave investigators. I was proud of my work, and I wanted anyone who was interested to have the full record of everything I did. I turned over more than 10,000 records, including files, memos and emails.

With the help of a forensic expert, I succeeded in recovering nearly all of the deleted text messages. I then voluntarily gave them to the Justice Department in September 2011, long before the indictment was returned. I certainly had meant no harm and thought that would be the end of it. I was wrong.

More challenges awaited. In spring 2013 my defense team discovered that prosecutors had failed to turn over evidence supporting my innocence. All three members of the Justice Department task force who had pursued me so relentlessly then withdrew from the case. So we started over in August 2013 with a new Justice Department team.

In late 2013 the case finally went to trial and I was acquitted on one charge of obstruction of justice. Although I was found guilty on the other charge, my attorneys and I soon learned that the jury forewoman had committed misconduct by introducing into the jury deliberations prejudicial, extraneous information overheard in a courthouse elevator about other BP cases. Based on this misconduct, a federal judge threw out the corrupted verdict and an appeals court affirmed that the verdict could not stand. The verdict was set aside and a new trial was ordered.

The case continued to grind on for two more years. Then to my surprise this fall, on the eve of my new trial, prosecutors offered a way to end the madness. They would drop all felony charges and acknowledge that I was not guilty of obstruction of justice. I would not pay a dollar in fines or serve a day in jail. I would plead guilty to a minor misdemeanor for deleting a set of text messages without BPís permissionósomething I had acknowledged doing from the very beginning.

My initial instinct was to decline the offer. As minor as the misdemeanor charge may be, it is dispiriting that I should have to accept anything other than an apology. I did my job with honor and professionalism. I served the publicís best interests. For this, I was hounded for four years and threatened with up to four decades in a federal penitentiary. I agreed to this resolution on Friday to put this matter behind meóto protect myself and my family from any further entanglement with the criminal-justice system.

The dangers of a misguided, out-of-control Justice Department task force go far beyond my case. My life was turned upside down, but I will recover. What worries me more is the chilling impact this type of government overreach could have on first responders to future disasters. Will they rush in to help as I did? Or will they decline to get involved for fear of prosecution years later? If they do engage, will they spend all of their energy trying to solve the problem? Or will they be looking over their shoulders and building a record to protect themselves for the day the Justice Department comes calling?

Zippyjuan
11-10-2015, 01:20 AM
Wow.

timosman
11-10-2015, 01:21 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc

TheTexan
11-10-2015, 01:31 AM
Wouldn't happen to me, I don't ever delete text messages. I don't even know how.

I am pretty awesome at Candy Crush though.

timosman
11-10-2015, 01:33 AM
Wouldn't happen to me, I don't ever delete text messages. I don't even know how..

Doesn't NSA keep your messages? The police should have asked them.

TheTexan
11-10-2015, 01:38 AM
Doesn't NSA keep your messages? The police should have asked them.

Do they keep the images sent in text messages too? I don't want them looking at my dick pics.

But if it helps to make me safe I guess they can look at my dick pics

timosman
11-10-2015, 02:05 AM
Do they keep the images sent in text messages too? I don't want them looking at my dick pics.

But if it helps to make me safe I guess they can look at my dick pics


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEVlyP4_11M

P3ter_Griffin
11-10-2015, 02:09 AM
lol. You can tell this was his first run in with a DA. That is the name of the game, a conviction rate to a DA is like a batting average to a pinch hitter. Justice be damned, they need to win to progress their career.

Weston White
11-10-2015, 06:01 AM
What did his texting about an earlier occurring event have to do with the investigation of what caused the event in the first place; why is the corporate policies of a foreign entity the concern of the DOJ, even so how is that even a remotely a criminal matter; did he delete the texts after being informed of any federal investigations, being that he was otherwise a paid employee acting lawfully within his capacity of professional employment? And why do the federal agents merely get to step-aside for their misconduct and malice towards another--having put another in a position to face four-decades of incarceration as a felon?

tod evans
11-10-2015, 06:11 AM
What did his texting about an earlier occurring event have to do with the investigation of what caused the event in the first place; why is the corporate policies of a foreign entity the concern of the DOJ, even so how is that even a remotely a criminal matter; did he delete the texts after being informed of any federal investigations, being that he was otherwise a paid employee acting lawfully within his capacity of professional employment? And why do the federal agents merely get to step-aside for their misconduct and malice towards another--having put another in a position to face four-decades of incarceration as a felon?

Qualified immunity comrade......

jbauer
11-10-2015, 10:16 AM
Doesn't NSA keep your messages? The police should have asked them.

Damn straight, thats what I was thinking. Just go get them for Utah or wherever they have them stashed.

donnay
11-10-2015, 10:40 AM
If you have nothing to hide--what's the problem? <s>

phill4paul
11-10-2015, 10:46 AM
So, they go after a guy they had nothing to do with the cause of the oil spill, but only in the attempt to contain it. Lovely.

Have they charged/investigated anyone in the EPA over their toxic water spill yet?

Brian4Liberty
11-10-2015, 10:51 AM
They'll probably charge him with something new for telling this story.

asurfaholic
11-10-2015, 11:02 AM
They'll probably charge him with something new for telling this story.

Good

His lack of respect for America is chilling. He is lucky they cut him a break when he was clearly the perpetrator of a massive act of environmental terrorism. This is a slap in the face of those who work to keep America safe and cool.

Brian4Liberty
11-10-2015, 11:14 AM
What ever happened to the individuals directly responsible for the disaster in the first place. IIRC, there were some obvious actions that led to this, pushed by the BP company man.

timosman
11-10-2015, 12:34 PM
What ever happened to the individuals directly responsible for the disaster in the first place. IIRC, there were some obvious actions that led to this, pushed by the BP company man.

That's not how the justice system works. Each case is considered separately on its own merit. This way we do not need to look at the big picture. Isn't this great?

ChristianAnarchist
11-10-2015, 12:43 PM
Do they keep the images sent in text messages too? I don't want them looking at my dick pics.

But if it helps to make me safe I guess they can look at my dick pics

My dick pics are extremely small, I doubt they take up much storage space...

specsaregood
11-10-2015, 01:11 PM
So, they go after a guy they had nothing to do with the cause of the oil spill, but only in the attempt to contain it. Lovely.


Maybe he was too successful in containing it.

Anti Federalist
11-12-2015, 03:27 PM
I would plead guilty to a minor misdemeanor for deleting a set of text messages without BP’s permission—something I had acknowledged doing from the very beginning.

And I'll drop this off right here...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc

Anti Federalist
11-12-2015, 03:27 PM
///

satchelmcqueen
11-12-2015, 09:25 PM
so 2 text messages deleted ...which proves???

yet hillary deletes 1000s of emails and she is truthful on some peoples accounts?

ClydeCoulter
11-12-2015, 09:37 PM
What worries me more is the chilling impact this type of government overreach could have on first responders to future disasters. Will they rush in to help as I did? Or will they decline to get involved for fear of prosecution years later? If they do engage, will they spend all of their energy trying to solve the problem? Or will they be looking over their shoulders and building a record to protect themselves for the day the Justice Department comes calling?

See my sig. @Juleswin, I may have to delete my sig concerning your statement about first responders vs the police.

""I mean can you imagine what it would be like if firemen acted like police officers? They would only go into a burning house only if there's a 100% chance they won't get any burns. I mean, you've got to fully protect thy self first." ~ juleswin"