The Free Press, Mankato, MN

June 21, 2013

Report alleges misconduct in BP case

MICHAEL KUNZELMAN
Associated Press

---- — NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A lawyer working for the court-appointed administrator reviewing claims as part of a multibillion-dollar settlement over BP's Gulf oil spill has been accused of receiving payments from a law firm representing a claimant, a BP official with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.

The BP official said the allegations were discussed in a closed-door meeting Thursday with U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier, who is overseeing the case. The company official spoke on condition of anonymity because the report hasn't been made public.

The lawyer under scrutiny, Lionel H. Sutton III, acknowledged in an email late Thursday that he has been told he was suspended "pending an investigation of an anonymous allegation against me." He said he hasn't been made aware of the substance of the allegation and declined further comment.