Monday, January 30, 2012

Diego Borja: On the Chevron Dole

What’s in the Files of Chevron’s $2.2 Million Man?

Gotta read this article by San Francisco Chronicle’s energy reporter, David Baker, about Chevron’s paying its own self-described “dirty tricks” operative $2.2 million in hush money.

The Chevron Pit believes the oil giant paid Diego Borja so he wouldn’t blow the whistle on its fraudulent sampling protocol at contaminated well sites during the Ecuador trial that recently resulted in an $18 billion judgment against Chevron for massive oil contamination.

Baker writes:
“In the sprawling legal drama surrounding Chevron Corp. in Ecuador, Diego Borja has played one of the strangest roles. In 2009, Borja and a colleague used amateur spy equipment to secretly record two meetings with the Ecuadorian judge presiding over a massive oil-field pollution lawsuit against Chevron…. Questions soon arose about Borja … and his colleague, an American named Wayne Hansen.”
Plenty of questions. Like what’s on Borja’s iPhone?

In a taped conversation with a childhood friend, Borja said if Chevron didn’t pay him handsomely for the videotapes of the judge, he would turn over evidence convicting Chevron in the Ecuador case.

He said he had the goods on Chevron, and some of them were stored on his iPhone.

As Baker discusses, Chevron has spent $1 million in legal fees on Borja alone to prevent the Ecuadorians from obtaining additional discovery from the mysterious Borja files, including data on his iPhone.

A decision in a California federal court on the Ecuadorians’ discovery request is pending.

Borja was a longtime Chevron consultant who lifted soil and water samples during dozens of critical court-supervised inspections during the eight-year trial from 2003 to 2011.

Today he’s unemployed, hanging out in Houston on the Chevron dole while company lawyers and private investigators tend to his every need.

In addition to paying Borja a monthly retainer for doing nothing, Chevron pays his wife as well for a job that no one seems able to describe.

Chevron also picks up rent for their house, their furniture, their car, cell phones and other life necessities.

His buddy, Wayne Hansen, doesn’t have it bad either.

Adam Klasfeld of Courthouse News got his hands on some emails between Hansen and Chevron’s private investigators that tell us Hansen is hanging in Peru, enjoying life.

Come on down, Hansen tells one of Chevron’s private investigators in an email. The water is fine, and you can live like a king for $1,200 a month.

Hansen, who is a convicted drug felon, wasn’t so jovial a year or so before when he wrote another Chevron private investigator that no one was taking care of “Wayne;” that Diego had a deal, but not him.

Hansen’s attitude toward Chevron clearly perked up by the time he landed in Peru a few weeks after the Government of Ecuador sought to subpoena him in the United States for his role in taping the judge. (It’s illegal to videotape anyone secretly in Ecuador.)

Ask yourself: How did Hansen, who has no visible means of support, find himself in Peru on the heels of a subpoena?

Why was Hansen communicating with Chevron’s private eyes?

The plot thickens. More is sure to follow.

Read these other interesting article, too, about the exploits of Borja and Hansen: Kate Sheppard of Mother Jones, Rebecca Beyer of the Daily Journal and Braden Reddall and Dan Levine of Reuters.

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