Roehm Claims Ethics Violated Routinely

Another episode of the Julie Roehm vs. Wal-Mart soap opera. We've always felt Roehm was fired because she was a brassy woman (a yankee, no less) in a good ole boy culture, thus have a bit of sympathy for her, even if she is the raging biatch oft rumored. Though, she was originally hired by the same good ole boys for some reason, presumedly to shake things up in a staid environment.

City Hall Stairs

Fired Wal-Mart Executive Roehm Claims Ethics Rules Were Violated - :
Fired Wal-Mart Stores Inc. marketing executive Julie Roehm took aim at the retailer's chief executive and other senior executives, claiming they skirted its ethics policy, accepting travel, concert tickets and preferential prices on yachts and jewelry.
Ms. Roehm contends that Chief Executive H. Lee Scott Jr. and his family have close ties to financier Irwin Jacobs, whose companies provide services and products to Wal-Mart, according to her filing in U.S. District Court, Detroit. She alleged their ties go “beyond a business relationship” that Wal-Mart's ethics policies dictate. ... Ms. Roehm's salvo includes a fierce defense of her short tenure and challenged the company's portrayals of her in its counter-suit. She denied accepting gifts, insisted suppliers were told to bill the company for any meals, and said salacious descriptions of her relationship with Mr. Womack were false. (Read the court filing.)

She also cited an excerpt from an affidavit by Mr. Womack's wife Shelley to dispute the company's contention that she engaged in an affair. Ms. Womack testified that one email Wal-Mart cited to support its claims of an affair didn't include Ms. Roehm's name and Wal-Mart's general counsel believed it wasn't incriminating.
Ms. Roehm's casts Wal-Mart as hypocritical for accusing her of violation ethical rules while failing to enforce its policies when it comes to other senior executives. She alleged Wal-Mart looked the other way when senior executives conducted affairs with subordinates, permitted Mr. Scott's son to work for a Jacobs' company, and allowed executives who owned retail stores to negotiate with subordinates on leases for those properties.

“Many Wal-Mart executives do not abide by Wal-Mart's alleged 'firm' policy forbidding conflicts of interest,” she said in a document filed with the court late Thursday. Despite its policies against conflicts of interest and the misuse of company assets, “actions apparently speak louder than words at Wal-Mart,” she said.

Ms. Roehm and a male subordinate were fired last December after the company accused them of violating its policies against fraternization and later claimed they had carried on an affair, improperly accepted gifts and sought jobs with suppliers. Since then, she has been an advertising consultant. She sued Wal-Mart, arguing there was no valid reason for her dismissal and asking the court to award her unspecified damages and compensation including lost pay, stock options, severance, and bonus.

Turning the tables on Wal-Mart, her filing alleges Mr. Scott personally benefited from his relationship with Mr. Jacobs, the chairman of Genmar Holdings Inc. and owner of several private businesses. Without identifying any specific instances, Ms. Roehm said the CEO obtained “a number of yachts” and “a large pink diamond” at preferential prices due to the relationship.

Previous coverage
Wal-Mart Smear
Roehm vs. Wal-Mart
Draft Gets Shaft
Exit Roehm Left
Whoa That was Fast

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This page contains a single entry by swanksalot published on May 25, 2007 1:29 PM.

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