Prosecutors Play Back Ex-Coal CEO's Phone Calls at Trial


In ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship’s criminal trial, prosecutors have started replaying phone calls that the executive secretly recorded in his office.

In recordings played in Charleston federal court Friday, Blankenship tells a girlfriend Massey’s board is “so unappreciative,” and complains board members wanted to pay him only $12 million.

He said he sold stock to make Massey stock only 25 percent of his net worth, adding that he didn’t have as much money as he should because he’s so conservative.

In a dictated memo, he said capital spending without approval would be grounds for termination.

Blankenship is charged with conspiring to break mine safety laws and lying to financial regulators about safety practices at Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, which exploded in 2010, killing 29 miners.