The third-party audit by Chicago-based McGladrey LLP comes after the finding last year by Former FBI Director and court-appointed Special Master Louis Freeh that Deepwater Horizon Claims Administrator Patrick Juneau “sets an ethical tone at the top” of the historic settlement payment program. Last week’s subsequent audit, insisted upon by BP, concludes that Mr. Juneau’s operation is “well-designed and appropriate,” paying accurate compensation over 99.5% of the time, an almost infinitesimally small error rate.
The results of the audit were clearly not what BP was hoping for. For more than a year the company has been searching in vain for “fraudulent filings” and other indicia of incompetence so that a scapegoat could be manufactured to divert attention away from BP’s own grossly negligent and criminal behavior. Alas, the evidence is clear that BP has manufactured this faux-crisis in an attempt to dissuade participation in the claims program and to pique the interest of the appellate courts, particularly the Supreme Court. The company has failed.
Judge Barbier, who approved the Settlement Agreement (which, by the way, BP authored, yet now disavows), has called BP’s actions in attacking Claims Administrator Juneau in his application of the Settlement’s causation standards “deeply disappointing” and “not inadvertent.” In short, BP has been playing fast and loose with the American judicial system. The Supreme Court should put an end to it.