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Published: Wednesday, 5/14/2008

Davis-Besse ex-engineer appeals his conviction

Former Davis-Besse engineer David Geisen has appealed his conviction on three deception charges to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, according to a notice filed by his attorneys.

Geisen, of DePere, Wis., was sentenced May 1 by Judge David Katz of U.S. District Court in Toledo to a $7,500 fine, three years' probation, four months of house arrest, and 200 hours of community service for the convictions decided by a jury following a monthlong trial last October.

He was acquitted of two other charges.

He could have received five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for any of the charges of which he was convicted, all of which stem from what he revealed to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission about FirstEnergy Corp.'s Davis-Besse plant in the fall of 2001.

The nuclear plant's old reactor head nearly burst.

Rodney N. Cook, a Millington, Tenn., contractor who was tried with Geisen, was acquitted on all four counts against him. A third defendant, Andrew Siemaszko, of Spring, Texas, is to stand trial on five counts in August.

FirstEnergy has paid a record $33.5 million in fines as a result of the incident, called one of the industry's worst by the NRC.

Judge Katz denied a post-trial defense motion for acquittal or a new trial, leaving it up to defense attorneys to decide whether to appeal at the circuit level.

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