September 19, 2018
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Federal judge scraps plea deal after ship operator fails to reward whistleblower

Stock image | Pixabay
Stock image | Pixabay
The Associated Press
Updated:

PORTLAND, Maine — A federal judge has scrapped a plea agreement calling for a cargo ship operator to pay $3.2 million for illegal discharges because nothing was provided for the whistleblower.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Torresen says a sailor from the Czech Republic deserves to be rewarded for reporting violations in 2017 on the MV Marguerita. The Portland Press Herald reports that the case is now scheduled for trial this fall if the parties are unable to reach a new agreement.

The Marguerita, operated by German shipping company MST, was christened two years ago at Portland’s Ocean Gateway Terminal.

The chief engineer who allegedly orchestrated the illegal discharges of oily water has been fired. In the courtroom last week, Torresen credited the whistleblower’s videos for allowing the federal government to pursue the case.

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