Jimmy Haslam deposition kept under wraps

Pilot Flying J President Jimmy Haslam emerged Tuesday evening from a daylong deposition in a civil lawsuit over the firm’s alleged diesel fuel rebate scam with another denial of any role or knowledge of the fraud to which several subordinates have confessed.

Further from the News Sentinel:

Haslam, who also owns the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, was ordered by an Ohio judge to submit to questioning by attorneys representing three trucking

that Pilot struck with dozens of other such companies after a high-profile raid in April 2013 of the company’s headquarters in Knoxville and the resulting indictment of more than a dozen executives and employees, including former Pilot president Mark Hazelwood.

The deposition spanned eight hours and took place at a Pilot conference center in Alcoa. It was not public. Attorney Chip Cooper, who represents two of the trucking companies, said Haslam is shielding a transcript of the deposition from the public.

“Regrettably, we can’t discuss the substance of Mr. Haslam’s testimony today,” Cooper said. “We can’t discuss it because Mr. Haslam insisted that his testimony be sealed and therefore shielded from public view. We plan to address this with the court in Ohio, and we encourage the press to do the same.”

Both Haslam and his attorney A.B. Culvahouse issued a statement Tuesday evening lambasting the three trucking firms and vowing Haslam’s innocence. They did not address the shield request.

“Our client openly and truthfully answered their questions,” Culvahouse said. “This entire exercise today was nothing more than an effort by the plaintiffs to harass the company into a windfall settlement.”

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ABOUT THIS BLOG
Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.
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