Targets in BP settlement inquiry assail findings

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MICHAEL KUNZELMAN
Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Nearly six months after a federal judge appointed former FBI director Louis Freeh to investigate alleged misconduct inside the settlement program for compensating victims of BP's 2010 Gulf oil spill, the targets of his inquiry are questioning his independence and trying to rebut his findings.

A report that Freeh issued in September concluded that top members of Patrick Juneau's staff, including Lionel Sutton III, engaged in conduct that was improper, unethical and possibly criminal.

Sutton is asking U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier to throw out Freeh's report. Sutton's attorney said Freeh doesn't have any evidence that his client broke any laws or had a conflict of interest during his work on the settlement.

Freeh is expected to issue his next report shortly after Jan. 1.

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