At a creditors meeting administered by a U.S. Department of Justice official, Freedom Industries President Gary Southern and Chief Financial Officer Terry Cline answered questions on company finances from a federal trustee and fewer than 10 attorneys representing creditors.
"This has been an extremely traumatic event for everybody to deal with, particularly our employees," Southern
said outside Robert C. Byrd U.S. District Courthouse in Charleston.
said the company had already sold off almost all of its chemicals as it prepares to start demolishing its Charleston facility by March 15, per state orders.
It was storing about $5.4 million worth of chemicals as of a Feb. 17 court filing.
In court Tuesday, Southern detailed ties to two companies that received millions of dollars from Freedom Industries in the last year.
Southern said he has been Freedom Industries' president since a merger in December.
Before then, he said he worked as a consultant for the company since 2009 with a firm named Blackwater.
paid Blackwater $1.2 million in the year leading up to its bankruptcy filing.
Southern said he also worked with Enviromine Inc., which received $3.8 million from Freedom Industries over the same year, court documents show.
doesn't have an ownership stake in either.
Enviromine lists Southern as its president in West Virginia corporation records.
Southern manages Blackwater Consulting Group LLC in Naples, Fla., near his home in Marco Island, but declined to say if that was the company in question.
"I don't care to discuss that," Southern
told the Associated Press
, regarding ties to Blackwater.
has limited his
public appearances since the spill.
spoke at a Jan. 10 news conference on site at Freedom Industries
, and answered questions in bankruptcy court Jan. 21.
said Tuesday he
has basically been living at Freedom Industries headquarters since the spill.