NEW ORLEANS — Two top officials of a fund that pays compensation in connection with the 2010 BP oil spill have resigned, just months after the two were accused of engaging in improper conduct.
Program head Patrick Juneau confirmed CEO David Odom and Chief Operating Officer Kirk Fisher have resigned. Fisher, whose mother was married to former Advocate publisher Doug Manship, was director of operations at the newspaper until 2007, when Fisher left to pursue other opportunities.
“They desire to move on to other business opportunities,” Juneau said in an emailed statement.
The process of paying claims will not be interrupted by their departure, Juneau said. Attempts at reaching both Odom and Fisher by phone or by other contact information were unsuccessful.
Juneau refused to comment on BP’s allegation that the resignations follow reports that the men entertained subordinates at a strip club that got $550,000 in oil spill claims. The allegation is online in an ad BP says will run Monday in three major newspapers. BP won’t identify the club.
In September, former FBI head Louis Freeh — appointed by the federal district court in New Orleans to investigate allegations of wrongdoing in the claims office — said Odom and Fisher had formed a business that offered work in an unrelated lawsuit to a company doing oil spill claims work.
“Actual and apparent conflicts of interest involved the most senior officials” of the claims administrative office, he wrote.
BrownGreer, a vendor that has averaged more than $15 million per month in fees for its work on the program, reported the offer to Juneau, Freeh wrote.
“Ultimately, the proposal was withdrawn,” he wrote.