Monday, May 4, 2015

Development in Logan kickback case causes a stir

Those in Logan County are left scratching their heads about the unclear outcome of a high profile federal case involving former employees of Arch Coal and the company’s Mountain Laurel Mining Complex.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston refused to sentence David Runyan, 45, of Delbarton for crimes of extortion and tax evasion. Runyan, who was the former manger of the complex, pleaded guilty to the charges. He was considered the ring leader of what federal prosecutors described as a “pay for play” kickback scheme. Investigators say evidence showed Runyan led the effort which required vendors doing business at the mine to pay thousands of dollars if they wanted to keep doing business.

However, Judge Johnston told Runyan’s attorney and the U.S. Attorney he didn’t see evidence Runyan committed the crimes to which he admitted and without evidence to back up his plea, the case should go to trial.