Associated Press Published

Convicted Coal CEO Says He Doesn't Have to Detail Finances

Don Blankenship

Lawyers for convicted ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship say he can withhold personal financial information under a constitutional right to remain silent during sentencing.

Blankenship’s attorneys cited the 5th Amendment in a Beckley federal court filing Friday.

Prosecutors say Blankenship is violating criminal procedure rules and restitution laws. They say they can’t tell if he anticipated fines or restitution and altered his finances accordingly.

Blankenship opposes prosecutors’ push to make him pay $28 million in restitution to Alpha Natural Resources. The now-bankrupt coal company bought Massey in 2011.

Blankenship was convicted Dec. 3 of a misdemeanor conspiracy to willfully violate mine safety standards at Upper Big Branch Mine, where an explosion killed 29 men in 2010.

He faces up to one year in prison and maximum fine of $250,000.