The Western Governors' Association (WGA) elected Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval as its next chairman and Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber as vice chair. Sandoval replaces Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.
BP plc engineer Kurt Mix, who was convicted in late 2013 on one of two counts of obstructing justice in connection with the blowout of BP's Macondo well, has won a new trial after the judge overseeing his case said he was not tried by an impartial jury (see Daily GPI, April 25, 2012). U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval in New Orleans tossed the conviction, citing "extreme circumstances [that] place the very sanctity of the impartial nature of Mix's jury at issue" [U.S. v. Mix, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, No. 12-cr-00171]. Mix had been part of the team to plug the well and determine how much oil was leaking. Five members of the panel told Duval that one juror claimed she had heard information outside of deliberations that gave her "comfort" in finding Mix guilty.