One of our very favorite global corporate octopi -- right up there with the GEO Group and Monsanto -- is at it again, chalking up another victory for "free enterprise," de-regulation and all that's good, right, true and...Freedom!
Turns out that Halliburton, the company formerly helmed by Darth Vader, has just "resolved" a federal investigation of its role in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster. That role being the destruction of evidence. Oops.
You'd think covering up evidence in a matter that involved the deaths of 11 workers and untold environmental damage might earn someone a day or two in the clink. Or a stern lecture, at least. But Halliburton is not made up of mere mortals, apparently, and walked off with "the statutory maximum fine of $200,000." They also agreed to contribute $55 million to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. (The company had $2.6 billion in profit last year.)
The deal with DoJ included three years probation. (We'd love to sit on their meetings with the probation officer. If only to ask the representatives of President Obama's agency why they wimped out on the suits.)
Fortunately for anyone with a sense of justice, the plea deal may have a spill-over (ugh) effect. According to the New York Times:
Legal scholars said the guilty plea would probably work against Halliburton in the civil trial in New Orleans to determine the share of damages owed to the Gulf states and businesses affected by the spill. "This could impact how the civil litigation is resolved, potentially imposing more liability on Halliburton than we originally thought," said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond.
We know the good folks at Halliburton are "job creators" and all that (for those who aren't killed on the job). But we say sock it to 'em.
Fire Ant -- an invasive species, tinged bright red, with an annoying, sometimes-fatal sting -- covers Palm Beach County. Got feedback or a tip? Contact Fire.Ant@BrowardPalmBeach.com.
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