Wal-Mart Sues Former Vice Chairman Coughlin
By George Anderson
Wal-Mart contends that the former vice chairman of the company, Tom Coughlin, stole millions from the company to pay for hunting trips and other personal expenses.
Mr. Coughlin, according to earlier reports, has claimed that the actual money was used to finance illegal anti-union activities.
Yesterday, Wal-Mart filed suit against Mr. Coughlin seeking to have him repay money the company claims he stole. It also wants him to give back bonuses he received from the company during the years he was allegedly stealing from his employer and, finally, it wants Mr. Coughlin to return any money paid to him as part of his retirement compensation package.
Mr. Coughlin’s attorneys, Blair Brown and William Taylor, would not offer a response to the suit filed by Wal-Mart but did characterize the action as part of a “relentless campaign to discredit a man who dedicated his life to the company and its employees for 27 years.”
The attorneys added, “Mr. Coughlin did not seek or obtain any improper reimbursements. He will not try his case in the press and looks forward to presenting his defense at the appropriate time in the appropriate forum.”
According to a report in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Mr. Coughlin and his attorneys are limited in what they can say because the case is currently under investigation by the U.S. attorney in the Western District of Arkansas.
Moderator’s Comment: What is this case doing for the public perception of Wal-Mart? Has the company been able to
improve its image as it has attempted to do over the past year?
– George Anderson – Moderator