Stay granted in case over Exxon pipeline spill

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - A judge has granted federal prosecutor's request to stay proceedings in a lawsuit over the ExxonMobil oil spill in Mayflower earlier this year.

U.S. District Judge James Moody on Thursday granted a request from U.S. Attorney Chris Thyer seeking a stay in the case because of the partial government shutdown.

Thyer said most attorneys with the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were unable to work on the case, even on a voluntary basis, because of the lapse in federal funding.

Attorneys for Exxon didn't oppose the stay.

The lawsuit, filed jointly by federal prosecutors and Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, seeks civil penalties for the oil spill in a Mayflower subdivision. Exxon's Pegasus pipeline ruptured in March, spilling thousands of barrels of oil into the neighborhood.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.