Roby Brock at Talk Business has been poring over legal filings by Julie Roehm, the ad exec ousted by Wal-Mart shortly after she came for supposed ethical miscues. Oops. She's fighting fire with fire, alleging ethical shortcomings on the part of top Wal-Mart management. It ain't Sam's place anymore, that's for sure.
In a legal document answering Wal-Mart's counterclaims, Roehm says that CEO Lee Scott and other high-ranking company officials skirted its ethics policies by accepting travel, concert tickets and preferential prices on yachts and jewelry.
Roehm was asked to leave the Bentonville-based retail giant in December 2006. In the aftermath of her departure, media reports surfaced alleging Roehm had violated numerous Wal-Mart policies based on information provided from Wal-Mart officials, including an affair with a subordinate and a biased process for selecting a new ad agency.
In the latest brief, Roehm contends that Lee Scott and his family have close ties to financier Irwin Jacobs, whose companies provide services and products to Wal-Mart. She contends their ties go "beyond a business relationship" as prohibited by Wal-Mart's ethics policies.
Roehm’s filing says that Wal-Mart executives “do in fact accept personal gratuities and considerations, and create the appearance of impropriety.” The filing details other instances of Wal-Mart doing business with current executives or family members related to executives, including Lee Scott's son, Eric.