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Second Former Executive Wants Prosecutor Off Chemical Spill Case

Freedom Industries
Aaron Payne
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  Another former Freedom Industries executive wants U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin's office removed from prosecuting criminal charges in a chemical spill.

Ex-Freedom president and part-owner Dennis Farrell filed Tuesday's motion in Charleston federal court.

Farrell's lawyers claim Goodwin's office has a conflict of interest because its employees and their families were victims of the Jan. 9 chemical spill that left 300,000 residents without tap water for days. Another ex-Freedom president, Gary Southern, filed a similar motion.

Prosecutors responded Wednesday, saying a recusal would be against public interest and fly in the face of the law.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston scheduled a Jan. 5 hearing on the motion.

Southern, Farrell, the company itself and four other Freedom officials face pollution charges. Southern also faces fraud charges related to Freedom's bankruptcy case.

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