California Must Pay Nearly $1 Million to Company for Destroying Evidence

by JOEL B. POLLAK

A federal judge has fined the State of California nearly $1 million — an unusually large punishment — for destroying evidence in an environmental case that the Santa Barbara News Press has dubbed “Targate.”

As Breitbart News noted last year, U.S. Magistrate Judge Ralph Zarefsky recommended that the state be sanctioned because the California Department of Fish and Wildlife had destroyed potentially exculpatory evidence.

The company involved, formerly known as Greka Oil & Gas Inc., and now known as HVI Cat Canyon Inc. (HVI-CC), had been accused of spilling oil and “produced water” at its leases near Santa Barbara, where it produced organic tar.
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