Transocean, the owner of the oil drilling rig that exploded and triggered the BP oil spill is scheduled to make its first appearance in federal court in New Orleans. The company is offering a settlement.
Brandon Scott Lavergne has asked a judge to void his guilty pleas in August to two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Mickey Shunick and Lisa Pate.
Lavergne entered the pleas less than two months after his arrest in a high-profile investigation that began May 19, when Shunick, a University of Louisiana at Lafayette student, disappeared while riding her bicycle home from downtown Lafayette.
The Shunick case revived an older investigation into the 1999 death of Pate, and Lavergne, who had long been a suspect in the older killing.
A federal judge in New Orleans has scheduled a Feb. 14 hearing to decide whether to accept the Justice Department's criminal settlement with Transocean Ltd. over the company's role in the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Transocean, which owned the rig that sank after an explosion killed 11 workers and spawned the spill, agreed last Thursday to pay $400 million in criminal penalties and plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of violating the Clean Water Act. The Switzerland-based company also agreed to pay $1 billion in civil penalties.
A Houston-based company has asked a state court in Baton Rouge to permanently block the Louisiana conservation commissioner's order for new exploratory wells and other steps meant to monitor the effects of a huge sinkhole in Assumption Parish.
The Advocate reports that Texas Brine Co. LLC also challenges Commissioner James Welsh's declaration of an emergency, which let him order the steps without a hearing.
A group representing rank-and-file New Orleans police officers says a scandal spawned by a federal prosecutor's anonymous posts on a newspaper's website has poisoned a sweeping agreement to clean up the city's troubled police department.
A court filing Friday by the Police Association of New Orleans urges U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan to permit the group to intervene in the court-supervised consent decree between the Justice Department and the city.
A judge says a Houston company must pay $1 million in fines and community service payments for falsifying water tests at an offshore production platform in 2009.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in New Orleans says in a news release that U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon sentenced W&T Offshore Inc. on Thursday. The company had pleaded guilty to tampering with monitoring required under the Clean Water Act.
Permits require monthly tests of whether oil and grease discharges are within federal limits.
Federal prosecutors deny any misconduct in their prosecution of former Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard. And they say his guilty plea makes his allegation of misconduct legally irrelevant.
Broussard pleaded guilty in September to charges he cheated taxpayers in a payroll fraud scheme and took payoffs from a parish contractor.
Defense attorney Robert Jenkins claims U.S. Attorney Jim Letten's office failed to thoroughly investigate the source of alleged leaks to local television stations WVUE-TV and WWL-TV about Broussard's impending indictment.