Coal Tattoo

NY State Comptroller: Blankenship should resign

This just in:

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today called for Massey Energy Company Chairman Don L. Blankenship to resign from the Board of Directors immediately. DiNapoli cited Massey’s failure to adequately address and manage the risks at West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine, where 29 miners perished following an explosion at the mine last week.

“Massey’s cavalier attitude toward risk and callous disregard for the safety of its employees has exacted a horrible cost on dozens of hard-working miners and their loved ones,” DiNapoli said. “This tragedy was a failure both of risk management and effective board oversight. Blankenship must step down and make room for more responsible leadership at Massey.”

In response to growing concern about board accountability, DiNapoli in November filed a shareholder resolution calling for Massey to declassify its board so that shareholders may more effectively weigh in on board performance. That resolution will be voted on at Massey’s annual meeting this spring.

DiNapoli is the sole trustee of the $129.4 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund which holds 303,550 shares of Massey stock, worth about $14.1 million.