NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A court-appointed investigator looking into the claims process for the 2010 BP oil spill says a former staff attorney for the spill claims administrator sent an email with confidential information to a law firm where the staffer's relatives work.
In a report filed Friday, former FBI Director Louis Freeh also criticized the staffer, David Duval, for visiting a bar that received a $500,000 claim award.
Freeh said neither Duval nor his relatives' law firm benefited financially from the confidential email and that the action was promptly reported by Duval's uncle, a firm member.
"The violations are mitigated by the facts that Mr. Duval did not receive any financial benefit from his actions and did not conceal his misconduct," Freeh's report said.
Freeh also didn't find evidence of "unusual behavior" involving the bar that received the claim award.
However, Freeh said the actions raise ethical concerns. He said the claims administrator's office should continue to train his staff on high ethical expectations.
Duval, the son of U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval, resigned from the claims administrator's office in October. His attorney, Harry Rosenberg, said he had just received Freeh's latest report Friday evening. He declined immediate comment.
Freeh's report said Duval had visited the unidentified New Orleans bar with Kirk Fisher and David Odom, also then-members of the administrator's staff.
In an advertisement that ran late last year in three major newspapers, BP claimed Fisher and Odom resigned following reports that they entertained subordinates at a strip club that was awarded more than $550,000 for its settlement claim.
Fisher denied in a December statement that he or Odom engaged in any wrongdoing and said they won't address BP's "shamefully distorted implications" about them.
In another filing regarding Freeh's look at the claims process, lawyers for two attorneys involved in that process said there was no evidence supporting Freeh's allegations that they acted improperly.
Separate responses on behalf of attorneys Jon Andry and Glen Lerner to the allegations by Freeh were filed Friday in federal court.
In a recent report, Freeh said attorney Lionel "Tiger" Sutton III, received $40,000 in fees for referring a claimant to Andry and Lerner before joining the staff of claims administrator Patrick Juneau.
Andry's and Lerner's lawyers say Freeh turned up no evidence that Sutton attempted to influence a claim or that their clients did anything wrong.