Haslam Being Dropped as Defendant in Lawsuit

Gov. Bill Haslam may soon be able to forget about a legal headache, according to Josh Flory.
The former Knoxville mayor had previously served as a director and chairman of Dallas-based Harold’s Stores Inc., which sought bankruptcy protection in 2008. The following year bankruptcy trustee Douglas Gould sued Haslam and several other defendants with ties to the company.
In a recent filing, Gould asked the court to dismiss all claims against Haslam, without giving a reason for the action. An attorney for Gould could not be reached for comment.
A spokeswoman for Haslam could not be reached for comment. The governor previously said he never had an operational role at Harold’s and that there was no basis to the allegations of mismanagement.
In an amended complaint filed last year, Gould alleged the company was dominated by a controlling shareholder, Ronald de Waal, and a majority of directors and officers whose interests were adverse to those of the company. The suit said de Waal had personal and professional relationships with the directors and officers that made them beholden to him and that Haslam served as CEO of Saks Direct, Inc., during the time that de Waal was vice chairman of its parent company.

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