Coal bankruptcy judge asks company to explain attorney costs

FILE - This Sept. 6, 2019, file photo, shows the Eagle Butte mine just north of Gillette, Wyo. Two of the biggest U.S. coal mines have been sold, raising the possibility that miners in Wyoming could return to work after almost four months off the job. Tennessee-based Contura Energy announced Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, that Blackjewel closed Friday on the sale of the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines to a subsidiary of Alabama-based FM Coal. (AP Photo/Mead Gruver, File)
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CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - A judge is telling a bankrupt coal company to provide more information about over $73,000 in expenses accrued by its attorneys while miners awaited back pay.

Attorneys for Blackjewel want U.S. District Judge Frank Volk in West Virginia to approve reimbursement for a range of expenses including meals, transportation and hotel stays. Volk questions some of those expenses, including a one-night hotel stay costing $982, and wants them to respond by Dec. 13.

Blackjewel owed over $146 million in taxes, $700,000 in wages to Wyoming workers and $900,000 in retirement funds when it filed for bankruptcy July 1.