Harlan coal company, 2 supervisors to plead guilty to federal mine-safety violations

A Harlan County coal company and two supervisors will plead guilty to charges that they willfully violated federal mine-safety laws.

Attorneys for Manalapan Mining Co. and the employees filed court motions, including two on Monday, saying the three will plead guilty.

The officers are Joseph Miniard, who was the mine superintendent, and Jefferson Davis, who was its operations manager.

Bryant Massingale, the second-shift foreman, pleaded guilty earlier.

A federal grand jury charged the company and the three men violated a number of safety rules at Manalapan's underground P-1 mine in Harlan County in June 2011.

Charges included that miners were told to use inadequate equipment and made to work in areas of the mine where the roof was not properly supported, and that supervisors didn't mention dangerous conditions in reports.

The alleged illegal acts happened in the weeks before an employee at the mine, David Partin, 49, of Pineville, was killed 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.