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Ex-Massey coal exec pleads guilty in W.Va. case

Thursday - 2/28/2013, 12:38pm  ET

Associated Press

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) -- A former president of a Massey Energy subsidiary has implicated the company's chief executive officer as he pleaded guilty to charges resulting from an investigation into the 2010 explosion at another Massey operation that killed 29 men.

David Hughart entered the plea to two federal conspiracy charges on Thursday in federal court in Beckley. He was accused of working with others to ensure miners at Massey operations got advance warning about surprise federal inspections between 2000 and March 2010.

When asked by the judge where the orders for the advanced warning came from, Hughart said it came from the company's chief executive officer. Former CEO Don Blankenship was not mentioned by name, and federal prosecutors declined comment after the hearing.

Many victims' families have said they want Blankenship prosecuted.

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