Associated Press Published

Judge Orders Alpha Pay Blankenship's Legal Fees


A federal judge has ordered Alpha Natural Resources to pay former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship’s legal fees stemming from a criminal investigation and upcoming trial.

The Charleston Gazette reports that a ruling released Thursday in Delaware Chancery Court, the judge cited the terms of Massey’s charter and the company’s merger agreement with Alpha.

Blankenship is charged with conspiring to violate safety standards at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia where an explosion killed 29 men in April 2010. Blankenship announced his retirement eight months later, and Alpha bought Massey for $7.1 billion in 2011.

Attorneys for Blankenship last week asked a federal judge in Beckley to delay his July trial until January.