Mark Knight, embattled oil company executive, is no longer chairman nor a member of the Knight Oil Tools board.
Knight’s removal was revealed Thursday, company President and CEO Earl Blackwell confirmed.
The decision was made after meetings of the Knight Oil Tools board of directors, which includes Bryan R. Knight, Kelly Knight Sobiesk and and Robert Veazey, Knight Oil Tools’ chief financial officer. Mark Knight, Bryan R. Knight and Kelly Knight Sobiesk are siblings, children of Eddy and Ann Knight, who founded the company in 1972.
Knight was booked into the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center this week on a racketeering charge, accused of involvement in a scheme in which drugs were planted on his brother Bryan Knight’s automobile in June 2014. A phone call to authorities told officers that Bryan Knight was carrying drugs; he was arrested after a traffic stop.
In December, the 15th District Attorney’s Office dropped the charges.
The investigation into that incident was reopened in March after a Knight Oil Tools employee told authorities that the cases used to plant illegal drugs on Bryan R. Knight’s vehicle were the same type ordered by Knight Oil Tools. The investigation led to Mark Knight.
Investigators said this week they believe Knight paid more than $100,000 in cash and gifts to two law enforcement officers — Deputy Jason Kinch and State Trooper Corey Jackson — as well as to Knight Oil Tools employee Russell Manual for their parts in the scheme. Warrants were issued for those three, as well.
Earl Blackwell replaced Mark Knight as president and CEO in January. At that time, Mark Knight retained the position of chairman of the board of directors.
Knight Oil Tools and its service lines comprise the “largest privately held rental and fishing tools company in the world,” the company website says.