A maintenance supervisor at an underground coal mine in Muhlenberg County falsified a safety record, a federal grand jury has charged.
The grand jury indicted Daniel L. Couch Jr. on one count of making a false entry in a record book and one count of making a false statement to a federal inspector.
Couch was head of maintenance at the Paradise No. 9 mine, operated by KenAmerican Resources, when the incident occurred in May 2016, the indictment said.
When an inspector for the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration checked a log book at the mine on May 17, it didn’t show that anyone had done fire-suppression checks on belt drives between May 1 and May 7, the indictment said.
When the inspector looked again two days later, there was a notation that D. Couch had examined the belt drive on May 7, when in fact he had not, the indictment said.
Couch also allegedly lied to the MSHA inspector about doing the examination.
The maximum penalty on the charges is five years in prison.
Authorities don’t know where Couch is, according to U.S. Attorney John E. Kuhn Jr.