An official of a Harlan County underground coal mine has pleaded guilty to charges that he put miners at risk.
Bryant Massingale admitted Thursday in federal court that he failed to note hazardous conditions in inspection reports, as required, and failed to correct hazardous conditions.
Massingale was second-shift foreman at the Manalapan Mining Company's P-1 mine at Pathfork in June 2011.
That month, the company and three officials exposed miners to the risk of injury or death by violating safety rules, a federal grand jury charged earlier this year.
The charges include that the company and officials had miners work under sections of the mine roof that weren't properly supported, which could have resulted in a deadly rock fall.
Those charged are the company; Massingale; operations manager Jefferson Davis; and Joseph Miniard, the mine superintendent.
The alleged illegal acts happened in the weeks before an employee at the mine, David Partin, 49, of Pineville, was killed June 30, 2011, when a large section of the mine wall fell on him.
The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration has proposed a fine of nearly $600,000 for alleged violations present when Partin died.
The company is contesting the citations. Manalapan, Davis and Miniard have maintained their innocence in the criminal case.
Massingale is to be sentenced in January.
Bill Estep: (606) 678-4655. Twitter: @billestep1