Former Delta Petroleum head quits post

The man who ran Delta Petroleum when an unnamed executive there allegedly fed insider trading information to a close friend has stepped down from leadership of another energy company.

Roger A. Parker retired as chief executive officer, chairman and a director of Denver-based Recovery Energy Inc., the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last week.

The now-defunct, Denver-based Delta owned oil and gas interests centered in the Collbran area. In October, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI said Michael Van Gilder of Denver had been indicted by a federal grand jury on five insider trading counts. They said Van Gilder, a Denver insurance executive, had illegally conducted stock transactions based on confidential information provided by a Delta executive in late 2007.

The executive wasn’t identified in a Department of Justice news release or the indictment and has not been charged. However, a department spokesman has said an investigation into the matter continues.

Van Gilder has pleaded not guilty. Among the allegations against him is that he benefited from advanced knowledge leaked by the Delta executive about plans by billionaire Kirk Kerkorian’s Tracinda Corp. to make a major purchase of Delta stock.

A Department of Justice news release and the indictment suggest the executive was a top Delta official. The executive was the lead Delta contact with Tracinda and reported directly to the board regarding his discussions with Tracinda, with the board then authorizing him to proceed with negotiating to obtain a higher per-share offer from Tracinda, authorities indicate.

Parker became head of Recovery Energy in 2009. An SEC filing by Recovery Energy last summer indicated Van Gilder and Van Gilder Insurance Co., for which Van Gilder served as chief executive officer, were among owners of Recovery Energy shares to be offered for sale when the company went public. It also said Van Gilder Insurance was the landlord for Recovery’s executive offices.

Van Gilder Insurance also had insured certain Delta operations. The Denver Post has reported that Parker and Van Gilder are involved with some of the same community organizations and are said by sources to interact socially.

Delta Petroleum eventually went into bankruptcy. This summer it completed a reorganization plan, changed its name to Par Petroleum Corp. and entered into a joint venture with Laramie Energy II, in which they pooled their assets in Mesa and Garfield counties.

Recovery Energy this month announced losses of $2.8 million for the third quarter and $12.8 million for the year to date.

Recovery Energy didn’t elaborate on Parker’s departure last week. In a news release regarding new management appointments, it made just one reference to him, by last name only, in the release’s last sentence.

“The Board of Directors wishes to thank Mr. Parker for his service to the Company and wishes him well in the future,” it said.


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