A New Orleans jury has acquitted David Rainey, the highest ranking executive from BP charged in the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010, from charges that he lied to the FBI.
The acquittal followed Monday’s dismissal of an obstruction of Congress charge against Rainey by the judge.
The indictment against Rainey, the former head of exploration at BP, alleged that he, on behalf of BP, intentionally underestimated the amount of oil flowing from the Macondo well.
Rainey had allegedly cherry-picked pages from documents, withheld other documents altogether and lied to Congress and others in order to make the spill appear less catastrophic than it was.
Had he been convicted Rainey would have faced a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison on each count, obstructing a congressional investigation and making false statements to law enforcement officials. Rainey was represented by Jones Walker LLP and Steptoe & Johnson LLP law firms.
“We are very pleased with the jury’s verdict–a complete vindication of Mr. Rainey,” said Mike Magner, Jones Walker LLP, who served as co-counsel. “I have never represented a more honorable and upright man who was more unfairly accused. Not only did the jury acquit him in record time, but the judge agreed that it was the proper verdict. We appreciate the jury’s careful attention to the evidence and their willingness to pursue justice on Mr. Rainey’s behalf,” added Magner.
Steptoe’s Brian Heberlig and Reid Weingarten, who served as lead defense counsel, stated: “We are extremely grateful for the jury’s verdict. Dave Rainey is an innocent man who was wrongly accused. The system got it right today.”
Offshore Energy Today Staff