- Associated Press - Friday, December 19, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A hearing is set next month on a motion by the former president of Freedom Industries to remove U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin’s office from prosecuting criminal charges in a chemical spill.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnson in Charleston has scheduled the hearing for Jan. 5.

The motion filed by Gary Southern’s lawyers claims Goodwin’s office has a conflict of interest because its employees and their families were victims of the Jan. 9 chemical spill that left 300,000 residents without tap water for days.

Southern, three other ex-Freedom executives, the company itself and two other employees are facing pollution charges. Southern also faces fraud charges related to the company’s bankruptcy case.

Court appearances are set Jan. 12 for former executive Charles Herzing and Jan. 8 for the other three former executives.

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