A U.S. bankruptcy judge has ordered Morton S. Bouchard III, the long-time CEO of New York-based Bouchard Transportation, to be immediately removed from his position as chief executive officer.
The ruling was handed down on February 26 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.
Bouchard Transportation filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy back in September with debtor-in-possession financing which would allow the company to continue to operate. The bankruptcy capped years of legal, financial, and Coast Guard compliance issues, which seemed to come to a head early last year when Bouchard crews became stranded across the country without pay and were forced to remain on board their vessels.
Bouchard Transportation was established in 1918 and has been closely-held and family-run ever since. Morton ‘Morty’ Bouchard took the helm of the company in 1992, becoming the fourth-generation of Bouchards to run the business.
On its website, Bouchard Transportation claims to be the nation’s largest independently-owned ocean-going petroleum barge company, operating 26 tugs and 25 tank barges across the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. The majority are double-hulled articulated tug and barge units (ATBs).
In 2018, the company came under intense scrutiny during the U.S. Coast Guard’s public hearing into the explosion and fire aboard the Bouchard No. 255 tank barge that claimed the lives of two people off the coast of Port Aransas, Texas on October 20, 2017.
With Morton Bouchard’s removal, Matthew Ray of Portage Point Partners, LLC has been appointed chief restructuring officer of Bouchard Transportation.
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