Former Halliburton manager charged in Gulf spill case

NEW ORLEANS — The Justice Department said Thursday that a former Halliburton manager has been charged with destroying evidence in the Gulf oil spill case.

The charge against Anthony Badalamenti, 61, of Katy, Texas, was filed in federal court in New Orleans as Halliburton, as a company, pleaded guilty to a similar charge.

The news brings to five the number of individuals who have now been charged in connection with the 2010 disaster off Louisiana.

The charge against Badalamenti was filed in the form of an information, which usually signals that a defendant is cooperating with investigators. However, Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr declined to immediately say if a plea agreement had been worked out.

An attorney for Badalamenti, Tai Park,  offered no details.

In an email to the Houston Chronicle, Park said, “Neither I nor my client will have any comment at this time.”

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According to court documents, Badalamenti was Halliburton’s cementing technology director at the time of the 2010 oil spill.

A month after the disaster, the documents say, Badalamenti directed a senior program manager to run two computer simulations related to the well that blew out. Badalamenti directed a subordinate to destroy the results, and the person did so, the documents say.

In June 2010, similar evidence also was destroyed in a later incident, the documents say, when  Badalamenti asked another, more experienced, employee to run simulations again.

The same allegations were contained in the charge to which Halliburton pleaded guilty to.