Associated Press Published

Conflict Survey for Prosecutors in Freedom Industries Case to be Sealed


Prosecutors are filing sealed responses to a questionnaire aiming to determine if conflicts exist in the criminal case over a massive chemical spill last year.

In Charleston federal court Tuesday, Judge Thomas Johnston ordered the responses to be sealed. U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin and two subordinates who also lived in the area affected by the spill will fill out the surveys.

The January 2014 Freedom Industries spill in Charleston spurred a tap-water ban for 300,000 residents for days.

Former Freedom officials Gary Southern and Dennis Farrell have pleaded not guilty to pollution charges. Southern also pleaded not guilty to fraud related to Freedom’s bankruptcy case.

Southern and Farrell contend Goodwin’s office should be recused because some of its members were impacted by the spill.

Their trials will be Oct. 6.