Former chemical company head enters guilty plea

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Associated Press

Posted on May 10, 2013 at 1:03 PM

HOUSTON (AP) — The former president of a Port Arthur chemical company has pleaded guilty to occupational safety crimes that resulted in the death of an employee.

Matthew Lawrence Bowman, former president and owner of Port Arthur Chemical and Environmental Services, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to violating the Occupational Safety Health Act and making a false statement.

The U.S. Department of Justice says Bowman admitted to not properly protecting employees from exposure to hydrogen sulfide, a poisonous gas. Truck driver Joey Sutter died in December 2008 after exposure.

Bowman also admitted that he told employees to falsify transportation documents to hide that wastewater was coming from his company, which was in operation from 2008 to 2010.

He faces up to five years in prison. Charges remain against the company.

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