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U.S. General Services Administration

A federal judge in New Orleans is ordering a new trial for a former BP engineer convicted of deleting text messages related to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

It stems from comments the jury forewoman overheard in a courthouse elevator.

BP engineer Kurt Mix was convicted in December of deleting messages he exchanged with his supervisor. Prosecutors allege he was trying to obstruct a grand jury investigation. Defense attorneys interviewed jurors after the verdict.

A court-appointed investigator says a fisherman should return more than $50,000 in BP oil spill claim money.

Louis Freeh, the former FBI director appointed to investigate claims arising from the 2010 disaster, filed a federal court motion Tuesday to force the return of the money.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp.

A federal appeals court says BP PLC and a minority partner in the blown-out Macondo well cannot avoid Clean Water Act fines for the 2010 oil spill by blaming another company's failed equipment.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday in an appeal by BP and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. from a 2012 ruling by federal Judge Carl Barbier.

A three-judge panel says the oil came from their well, so they are liable. It said it cannot just blame Transocean's failed blowout preventer.

Anne Power / Shutterstock.com

Governor Bobby Jindal has not yet signed legislation he supports that blocks a lawsuit filed against the oil and gas industry.

He’s waiting for a review by the state Attorney General, who wanted some time to review the bill.

At issue is whether it could affect lawsuits filed over the BP oil spill four years ago.

The bill blocks a lawsuit filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East. The board wanted to force the industry to repair wetlands damaged by production.

Derek Bridges

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has been granted a delay in sentencing on federal corruption charges.

U.S. District Judge Helen Berrigan on Thursday set Nagin's sentencing hearing for July 2.

The hearing had been set for June 11.

Nagin's lawyer said he needed more time to respond to a lengthy pre-sentence investigation report filed earlier this month.

Prosecutors had opposed a delay, saying there has been plenty of time to prepare for the hearing.

Clint Durrett / WDSU.com

A federal judge is ordering former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin to pay the government more than a half-million dollars, stemming from his corruption conviction. The order comes ahead of his sentencing set for next month.

BP is asking the US Supreme Court for relief from a damage claim process enacted after the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil company has lost several court battles to modify the deal.

In the next installment of an NPR investigation, Joseph Shapiro goes to New Orleans to look at the ways poor people are charged for their public defender in court.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

They’re called “legacy lawsuits”—when property owners sue oil and gas companies for environmental damage done in decades past. Thursday, Louisiana’s House spent hours hearing—and ultimately approving—two bills dealing with legacy lawsuits.

“When we get to court, we know there’s an issue,” explained Chalmette Representative Ray Garofalo, while introducing his bill, which would let parties on either side ask the Department of Natural Resources to come up with a remediation plan for the polluted or otherwise damaged property.

Bart Everson / Flickr

Lawyers for the city of New Orleans and Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman have reached an agreement, for now, on how to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to reform the city’s violent jail.

The sheriff’s office is under federal court order to improve conditions at the jail.

Today’s agreement covers about one-quarter of nearly $1.9 million provided last year for extra security, medical workers and pay raises for staff at the current jail.

The remaining money will be used to look at numerous other issues, like plans for a new jail set to open later this year.

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