Haliburton Felon Gets Probation

In the wake of the BP oil spill, the high-ranking Haliburton official in charge of the department that handles cementing for deep water oil platforms quickly got rid of documents that would make his company culpable in the disaster. Naturally, he received only probation for his crime.

A former Halliburton manager who destroyed evidence in the aftermath of BP’s record 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been sentenced to just 12 months probation for his crime.

Anthony Badalamenti, of Katy, Texas, had faced a maximum of one year in prison at his sentencing on Tuesday, after pleading guilty to one misdemeanor count of destruction of evidence in October.

However U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey said the 62-year-old had ‘learned from his mistake’ and was ‘an honorable man’ when he gave Badalamenti the probabation time plus 100 hours of community, and ordered that he pay a $1,000 fine.

Badalamenti was the cementing technology director for Halliburton Energy Services Inc., BP’s cement contractor on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.

Good thing for him he’s white and a white collar criminal and not a young black man caught smoking a joint or he might have faced serious time in jail.

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  • tubi

    Probation might actually be appropriate in these circumstances, regardless how we feel about Halliburton and BP. Was Badalamenti really the worst offender?

    This, however,

    Good thing for him he’s white and a white collar criminal and not a young black man caught smoking a joint or he might have faced serious time in jail.

    couldn’t be more true. The more episodes of “COPS” I watch, the more I realize how much better off we’ll all be, even those of us who don’t use (anymore), when we start treating addicts as patients and not as criminals. Every time I see a cop beat down a 20-year old with a bag of weed, or even meth or heroin, I really want them to say, “Hey, we’re going to get you some treatment and help you get rid of this problem.” Instead, it’s “You wanna use dope in my town, you’re taking a ride down to headquarters to be processed and jailed. Maybe then you’ll think about coming here to buy crack (or whatever)”

    Really starting to piss me off.

  • Alverant

    tubi, the thing is the oil rig was a case of “death by a thousand cuts” where everyone involved bears some responsibility, for the dozens of lives lost on the rig itself, and all the damaged and lost lives from the spill. Everyone is passing the buck in a case where there’s enough blame and damage to justify putting everyone involved in prison. Badalamenti tried to cover up his involvement in the disaster, that means he knew the risks since he knew what to look for and destroy, that means he was involved in causing that disaster.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com holytape

    So he destroyed documents that showed how is company incompetence cost billions of dollars and harmed the environment, it’s not like he had a gram of marijuana on him.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    ordered that he pay a $1,000 fine

    I hope they sent a court-appointed manicurist in a bentley to deliver his pat (technically “slap”) on the wrist.

  • Cuttlefish

    Ed, he wouldn’t have to be smoking a joint. Simply wearing a hoodie is enough.


  • Gvlgeologist, FCD

    I must admit that it never would have occurred to me to describe someone that consciously and deliberately destroyed evidence of his and his company’s culpability in a disaster that killed 11 people, cost millions of dollars in lost wages, lost jobs, destruction of coasts, deaths of millions (at least) of marine organisms, and continues to do so, as “an honorable man” deserving of probation rather than jail time.

  • StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    TANJ*! That’s disgusting news.

    Wonder what his community service will involve – hopefully a trip down to clean up that region he fouled in person – not that that’ll ever be bad enough.

    If only fines were proportion of corporate / individual wealth not set amounts.

    If only the law was fair and applied right to everyone as they deserve it. Sigh.

    * There Ain’t No Justice. (Source : Larry Niven novels memory serving?)

  • robnyny

    As far as I can tell, he is a misdemeanant, not a felon. Words having meanings.


  • erichoug

    Regardless of my opinion on this guys sentence. I do not support prison time for people like this.

    Prison should be reserved for violent, repeat or particularly heinous offenders. We should not have people in jail for destroying documents, financial crime (Yes I think it’s pointless to put Bernie Madoff in jail) drug possession etc.

    Most crimes should be handled by fines, confiscation, repayment for theft, damages and expenses and then follow up garnishment of wages, counseling etc.

    Take this guy, instead of paying just under $20,000(reference) a year to keep him in prison for a year, the state is getting $1,000 in fines and 100 hours of community service. Even at minimum wage that is a net gain to us taxpayers of $26788.35.

    Sounds to me like the judge made a fairly good choice. But I do agree that it should have been more of a fine and more customer service.

  • Michael Heath

    Re erichoug’s argument about our over-propensity to put criminals in jail:

    My being exposed to this argument is new. I think it’s a compelling argument. However I think there does need to be some consideration and changes in terms of how we help victims recover from the crimes against them. I’m not arguing we require retribution for this reason, perhaps taxpayer-funded victim counseling to get over it should be the predominant response, but just that we’re considerate of victims when it comes to how the government reacts to convictions.

    For example, I saw the actual protagonist of the Wolf of Wall Street on a couple of cable news shows the past couple of weeks. While I’d already decided to boycott the film because I perceived its success at least intangibly benefitted this criminal, I was cringing at watching this guy on TV. He was getting a whole bunch of free PR to promote his current business. It was sickening, especially when you consider what his victims must feel reliving this all over again.

  • robnyny

    I think he is technically a “misdemenant” and not a “felon.”

  • erichoug

    @MIchael Heath

    perhaps taxpayer-funded victim counseling to get over it should be the predominant response,

    In cases of violent crime, I have no issue sending people to Prison for a long time. But, in the case of non-violent crime, I think we would be far better off spending taxpayer money on thins like the counseling you suggest. We might even be able to spend the same money making victims of financial crime whole again. OR! we could dictate that doing so be the financial responsibility of the criminal rather than the taxpayers.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    erichoug @ # 9 – You have a good point, but you overlook how extremely badly we need some serious deterrent factor against criminality in the white-collar segment of society at present.

  • erichoug

    @Pierce R. Butler

    I agree but I don’t think prison is the solution. For the Wall Street guys I think confiscation and garnishment of future earnings is a good idea. There may be other things that hit them a lot harder as well.

    I just don’t believe that prison serves any useful purpose. Especially as I believe that some of them have spent some time in Jail and then come hope to their millions of dollars and their mansions.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    erichoug @ # 14 – I propose a compromise: criminal fat cats should get both major financial penalties and do some hard time.

    Bernie Madoff both needs and deserves some company from his peers in Riker’s Island.

    (As if either of us, or anyone likely to achieve a place on a November ballot, has any chance of making either happen…)

  • erichoug

    @ Pierce Butler

    I can, sort of, understand your point. But,I’m sorry, I just don’t see what putting white collar criminals in jail does.What purpose does putting Bernie Madoff in jail serve? I’m sorry but your just looking to exact retribution and I don’t think that is valid.

    People like Madoff should be made to repay their debt to the people they wrong and some extra that can be paid to society as a whole.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    erichoug @ # 16: … your just looking to exact retribution …

    Pls re-read my # 13 – I’m looking to establish deterrence, and in a way that can’t be offset by giving the criminals involved unpublicized bonuses and expense accounts, but instills genuine fear.

    Given the degree of ethical awareness consistently displayed by our “business class”, I cannot believe that anything less will do what we all need done.

    And just how do you think Madoff might honestly earn the money to reimburse even 10% of what he stole?

  • erichoug

    I understand what you are saying about deterrence, but I think it isn’t a valid argument. England enacted the “Bloody Codes” back in the 1600’s and yet they had almost 0 impact on the overall crime rate.

    Also, you’re engaging in stereotyping in regards to what you call the business class. I think it would be unfair to say that the majority of the people in business are not ethical and honest. The primary reason is that most people don’t want to do business with those who aren’t, I know that I don’t. There certainly is a group at the top that is looking for the loophole but that doesn’t mean the entire business community is corrupt.

    As far as Madoff, I’m not sure what he could legally do to pay back the people he robbed if he were let out of jail. But, I do know that he can do nothing to repay them while he is in jail. In addition, we are paying the cost for his room, board and upkeep. So even if he only made enough money to support himself and pay $100/week towards his victims, that would be a net gain for society.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    erichoug @ # 18: England enacted the “Bloody Codes” back in the 1600′s …

    What, other than terminal corruption and overfermented social stresses, has that to do with our present plutocracy problem?

    … you’re engaging in stereotyping …

    I call it pattern recognition.*

    … it would be unfair to say that the majority of the people in business are not ethical and honest.

    Ever heard of the concept of shades of gray? None of us is all bad – or all good.

    There certainly is a group at the top that is looking for the loophole but that doesn’t mean the entire business community is corrupt.

    For crysake. No, that doesn’t mean TEBCIC – but the history of the last few decades does show an abundance of rot in that particular applebarrel.

    … Madoff… can do nothing to repay them while he is in jail.

    The collective cost of mass teeth-grinding among his victims, should he be walking around enjoying the street scene, would leave the cost of Bernie’s room-&-board way behind. And both together add up to chump change in terms of the economic benefits of severely reducing Ponzi schemes.

    If you want to go all bleeding-heart on us, I suggest you let the silk-tie set take care of themselves and look to, say, the hundreds of thousands of harmless POWs captured during the War on Drugs®: or the even more numerous ex-middle-class (whose mortgage proceedings prove that the US does in fact have a working railroad system); or even those perennial race & gender issues.

    In context of 2014, to bewail the injustice! of Madoff’s incarceration amidst our daily ration of physical disaster, constitutional crumbling, and berserk violence from citizens and cops alike, goes far beyond straining at no-see-ums and swallowing stegosaurs.

    * Protip: know your enemy.