Associated Press Published

Federal Prosecutors Seek to Have Coal Boss Case Dismissed


Federal prosecutors have decided not to retry a West Virginia coal boss whose case ended in mistrial on charges of campaign finance fraud.

U.S. Attorney Bill Powell, of the Northern District of West Virginia, said in a statement Friday that prosecutors have filed a motion to have the case against 58-year-old James Laurita Jr., of Morgantown, dismissed.

The first trial in Laurita’s case ended with a mistrial when a jury couldn’t determine whether he illegally funneled excessive campaign contributions to pro-coal politicians between 2010 and 2013.

Powell said prosecutors believe presenting the same evidence with the same legal standards would likely lead to jurors being deadlocked again and wouldn’t be a judicious use of resources.