A former engineer for BP PLC has been arrested and accused of deleting text messages detailing how much oil was gushing into the Gulf of Mexico as BP tried to staunch the Deepwater Horizon spill in the spring of 2010.
Kurt Mix, of Katy, Texas, is charged with two counts of obstructing justice for deleting from his iPhone hundreds of text messages he exchanged with a co-worker and a contractor, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday.
The complaint represents the first criminal charges brought against any workers involved in the accident or its aftermath. A lawyer for Mix, who is expected to appear in court Tuesday afternoon, couldn’t immediately be identified.
BP said in a statement it wouldn’t comment on the charges against Mix but that the company had clear policies requiring preservation of evidence in the case. The company said it was “cooperating with the Department of Justice and other official investigations into the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill.”
Mix was part of an internal team BP set up to estimate the amount of oil leaking from the well as well as to try to stop the leak.” —The Wall Street Journal (via the New York Post), “Former BP Engineer Arrested in Deepwater Horizon Criminal Probe” (via inothernews)