Jimmy Haslam seeks to avoid deposition on Pilot Flying J rebates

Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam has asked an Alabama judge to reconsider, amend or vacate a deposition order that could force him to testify in court for the first time regarding the rebate scheme plaguing the $31 billion family truck stop chain.

Further from The Tennessean:

Attorney Joseph McCorkle Jr., representing Haslam, filed the motion to reconsider late Friday in the civil case of Wright Transportation v. Pilot Flying J after the judge’s order came earlier in the day.

Among several claims, the defendant’s motion argues that Circuit Court Judge Sarah Hicks Stewart granted the petition to depose Haslam less than 42 hours after it was filed without scheduling a hearing or allowing Haslam a reasonable opportunity to respond.

The brief says Haslam’s legal counsel is “puzzled” by the decision and that the plaintiff’s petition is “riddled with factual and procedural errors.” The defense also contends the proposed deposition of Haslam is a “thinly-disguised effort to obtain discovery from him to be used in the litigation against him, wherever it ends up.”

Alabama-based Wright Transportation is one of several companies suing Pilot in connection with a scheme where top-ranking Pilot officials orchestrated fake rebates for customers. Haslam, brother of Gov. Bill Haslam and owner of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, has denied knowing anything about the scheme.

“Of hundreds of cases resolved, this is one of only several unresolved,” said a spokesman for Pilot Flying J. “There is nothing Mr. (Jimmy) Haslam can add to what has become a prolonged litigation by this company.”

A federal investigation into the problem has already led to 10 guilty pleas to federal crimes and another eight federal indictments of former leading executives at the company. Jimmy Haslam is not among them.