Pilot Flying J CEO says company is improving efforts

Pilot Flying J CEO says company is improving efforts to resolve fuel rebate scandal

Posted:
Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam addressed the media Monday morning detailing how the company has handled thus far the investigation and resulting lawsuits into allegations of improper handling of rebate deals.

Though Haslam did not take questions, he told reporters he believes the company will emerge from its problems and that he's proud of the 24,000 team members who went right back to work after hearing the news in April.

Haslam said since the raid on Pilot Flying J's Knoxville headquarters in April, the company has done its best to investigate the allegations against members of its diesel fuel team and said the company will make right any errors it discovers.

Haslam also provided an update on several items he spoke about during his first press conference on April 22.

During the April conference, Haslam announced Pilot was bringing its field audit team to review all its manual accounts with diesel fuel trucking company customers.

He says the audit team completed its review on June 30, notified almost every customer whose account had a discrepancy, and sent them checks for the amount of the discrepancy plus interest.

The company is now finalizing its audit of other diesel accounts with any type of direct discount agreement and hopes to complete the process by the end of the year. Haslam said a relatively small amount of the company's 7,000 accounts had any discrepancy.

"We will not be satisfied until we have identified every single discrepancy, made every affected customer whole, and regained the confidence of all of our customers," said Haslam.

Several trucking companies are taking part in a class action lawsuit, and Haslam says Pilot's proposed settlement agreement will guarantee each participating customer will receive 100 percent recovery plus interest on any shortfall. Haslam says he hopes the settlement will receive final approval in November.

Haslam did not address the trucking companies who are not taking part in the class action suit, but said any customer may choose whether to participate in the settlement.

Seven members of Pilot's diesel fuel sales team have pleaded guilty to abusing customers' trust and have resigned or been fired. Others have been placed on administrative leave pending results of the ongoing investigation.

"In addition, we have now placed almost every customer contract in writing and will continue to do so going forward.  Our goal is to make certain every customer is intricately involved with what his or her contract says so that parties always know the exact expectation of each contract," said Haslam.

Haslam also said he directed the conversion of all of Pilot's diesel fuel customers to electronic calculation and payment, eliminating all manually managed account. He said this process is nearly complete.

Pilot also created a compliance office in an effort to keep similar problems from recurring and hired a special counsel to make an independent review to the board.

The counsel is led by attorney Reid Weingarten, whom Haslam says has a full investigation underway.

"We are taking this negative and turning it into a strength that will stand us in good stead for years to come.  We are committed to ensuring this does not ever happen again," said Haslam.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.