Fri., June 18, 2010 6:52pm (EDT)

Oil Spill Fallout Nets State Official
By Rickey Bevington
Updated: 4 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
Davis could be held personally liable for the BP oil disaster. (photo courtesy University System Board of Regents)
Davis could be held personally liable for the BP oil disaster. (photo courtesy University System Board of Regents)
A powerful Georgia official is caught up in the legal fallout from the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

University System Board of Regents Chancellor Errol B. Davis Jr. served 12 years on BP’s board.

Davis was a career energy executive before taking oversight of Georgia’s 35 public colleges and universities, and a budget of more than $6 billion.

He had already been serving on BP’s board for eight years before taking the helm of the Regents in 2006.

Now 65, he retired from the BP board April 15th, only five days before the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded, causing the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

But Davis is not off the hook.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports at least four BP shareholder lawsuits name Davis as a defendant, and more could be coming.

Legal analysts say he could be held personally liable if a plaintiff can prove he did not exercise reasonable care, skill, and diligence.