Tue., July 14, 2009 5:10pm (EDT)

Memo Shows Chambliss Prepped for Hearing
By Orlando Montoya
Updated: 5 years ago

SAVANNAH, Ga.  —  
Imperial Sugar CEO John Sheptor speaks at the one year anniversary of the deadly blast.
Imperial Sugar CEO John Sheptor speaks at the one year anniversary of the deadly blast.
There's news in the continuing political fallout from the deadly Imperial Sugar disaster. New memos show just how much contact a company lobbyist had with a Georgia Senator.

The explosion at the Imperial Sugar refinery near Savannah killed 14 people and injured dozens more last year. At a Congressional hearing following the blast, U.S. Senator Chambliss aggressively challenged a company whistle-blower, who said the company knew about safetly lapses before the blast but did not make necessary changes to prevent it.

Memos obtained by victims' attorneys show a company lobbyist prepped Chambliss for his challenge. Savannah lawyer Mark Tate says Chambliss and Imperial conspired to descredit the whistle-blower. "Saxby Chambliss has shown no interest whatsoever in the truth," says Tate.

A Chambliss spokeswoman denies the Senator was prepped. "The documents in question were the same ones that were either also sent to the subcommittee, submitted for public record or were already in the hands of OSHA officials," says Bronwyn Lance Chester.