Panel opts not to punish whistleblowing coal miner - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Panel opts not to punish whistleblowing coal miner

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A coal miner from eastern Kentucky who provided information on safety violations that led to federal criminal convictions will not be punished after a state panel decided not to impose a penalty for committing a legal violation. 

The Kentucky Office of Mine Safety and Licensing on Thursday ruled that 41-year-old Mackie Bailey took part in using a machine exposed to potential roof falls. But, because he later reported the violation, his miner certification should not be affected. 

Bailey worked at the Manalapan Mining Co.'s P-1 mine near Pathfork, in Harlan County, in the first half of 2011. 

Three company officials and the company pleaded guilty to criminal charges and are awaiting sentencing. 

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported (http://bit.ly/Z83K1d ) the panel commended Bailey risking his job to report the violations. 

Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, http://www.kentucky.com

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