LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Eight former supervisors and safety officers at a Kentucky coal company have been indicted on federal charges that they rigged dust monitoring in underground mines, forcing miners to work in the kind of dirty conditions that can lead to black lung disease.
The eight company officials were charged Wednesday on one count of conspiracy to defraud the government by “deceit, trickery and dishonest means,” according to the indictment. The eight officials worked at the now-bankrupt Armstrong Coal in western Kentucky.
The indictment alleges company officials ordered workers to remove dust sampling equipment and place it in clean air portions of the mine to get desirable readings, or they moved workers without dust monitors into the dirtiest jobs. The indictment says the offenses happened at Armstrong’s Parkway and Kronos mines between 2013 and 2015.