Associated Press Published

Feds Seek Plea Hearings for Freedom Industries Ex-Owners

Freedom Industries

 Prosecutors are seeking plea hearings for Freedom Industries and two former owners facing charges related to a West Virginia chemical spill.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip H. Wright filed motions Wednesday asking the court to schedule hearings for the company, Charles Herzing and William Tis. Wright also requested plea hearings for two lower-level employees.

All the defendants are charged with violating the federal Clean Water Act. They are expected to plead guilty in the case.

Attorneys for Herzing and Tis didn’t immediately return telephone messages Wednesday.

The January 2014 spill in Charleston contaminated drinking water for 300,000 residents for days.

Former Freedom owner Dennis Farrell and former President Gary Southern also face charges related to the spill.

In addition, Southern faces charges related to Freedom’s bankruptcy.