Kurt Mix Facts
  • Looking back now at the Justice Department’s conduct, I realize that I made one egregious error: I naïvely believed that the task force simply wanted the truth.

    — Kurt Mix, Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, November 9, 2015

  • Four years and millions of dollars later, this case closed with a no-jail-time minor misdemeanor wrist slap—the equivalent of a traffic ticket for failing to get BP’s permission before deleting text messages with a close friend.

    — Michael McGovern, Defense Counsel, US v. Mix

  • The total misjudgment and mismanagement of this case by the Department of Justice should alarm everyone who cares about an impartial and professional legal system. This case is the new poster-child for what prosecutors should not do.

    — Joan McPhee, Lead Defense Counsel, US vs. Mix

  • The spill was a tragedy, which has only been made worse by the prosecution of Mix who deleted innocuous email texts while working long hours to find a way to stop the oil spill.

    — Walter Pavlo, Forbes contributor

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I Was an Oil Spill Scapegoat

11/9/2015

Kurt Mix

Wall Street Journal

This op-ed originally appeared in the November 9th, 2015 edition of the Wall Street Jorunal

At 6:30 a.m. on April 24, 2012, federal agents, wearing Kevlar vests and with guns drawn, raided my home in Katy, Texas, with a warrant for my arrest. This was as shocking to me as it would be for any normal, law-abiding citizen.

I’m not a drug dealer, violent criminal or money launderer. I’m an engineer. In 2010 I helped stop the BP oil spill after an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig left a damaged well spilling crude directly into the Gulf of Mexico.

On the morning of the raid I left early for work, so I was not at home when it occurred. My wife was alone and had to deal with the shock of a squad of FBI agents ripping through our home. We’ve seen it a hundred times on “Law and Order.” They raced through our house and badgered and interrogated my wife.

Later that morning, after a frantic call from my wife, I drove to a local police station to surrender. As bad as that day was, I had no idea what was about to happen. I didn’t realize I had become a central focus of the Justice Department’s investigation into the BP oil spill. For the next three and a half years, a Justice task force was dedicated to putting me in jail.

What had I done to merit this? I had worked as hard as I knew how for nearly 90 straight days to help stop the Deepwater Horizon spill. Plugging the well, as fast as possible, was the focus of my life...

Read the rest of the article here

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