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2 CHARGES DISMISSED AGAINST HAZELWOOD

SHARE 2 CHARGES DISMISSED AGAINST HAZELWOOD

The Coast Guard dismissed charges of intoxication and misconduct Wednesday against former Exxon Valdez Capt. Joseph Hazelwood, and the skipper pleaded no contest to two lesser charges.

The pleas to allegations that Hazelwood was negligent in leaving the bridge of the tanker and that he consumed alcohol within four hours of sailing were entered as part of a settlement between the Coast Guard and Hazelwood.The hearing before an administrative Coast Guard judge was to determine whether Hazelwood could keep his captain's license and continue his seagoing career. That hearing continued, with the judge to decide on proper sanctions for the no-contest pleas.

However, the Coast Guard dismissed a charge that Hazelwood was drunk by Coast Guard standards while he commanded the 987-foot tanker.

They also dismissed a charge that he was negligent in leaving a third mate who was not properly licensed in charge of the Exxon Valdez as it passed through the Valdez Narrows of Alaska into Prince William Sound.

The Coast Guard also changed the language of one of the charges to which he pleaded no contest. Originally the accusation contained the claim that Hazelwood's behavior contributed to the grounding of the tanker. That allegation was removed.

Hazelwood stood and faced the judge as he answered the remaining charges against him in a firm voice, saying, "No contest."