A nationally known attorney will lead Pilot Flying J's own internal investigation into an alleged scheme that federal investigators say cheated customers.
In a press release, the board of directors announced the appointment of Reid Weingarten to serve as a "special independent counsel." He will "lead, oversee, and validate" the company's own efforts to determine if Pilot Flying J sales managers underpaid rebates on diesel fuel
purchases owed to some of its trucking company customers.
Weingarten was listed earlier this year by the National Law Journal as one of the nation's 100 most influential lawyers. He works for Steptoe & Johnson LLP in New York and Washington, where he specializes in defending people accused of white collar crimes.
According to his biography, Weingarten has represented individuals and corporations in some of the most high-profile cases in the country.
Some of his past, high-profile clients include a former Enron accounting officer, film director Roman Polanski, and the former C.E.O of World-Com. He recently represented former congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.,. who pleaded guilty to campaign fund abuse in February.
Prior to joining Steptoe & Johnson LLP, he served as a trial attorney for the Public Integrity Section of the US Department of Justice and as a deputy district attorney for Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.
In addition, the board has named Brad Martin, retired chairman and CEO of Saks, Inc., as the head of a special committee of the board that will work with Weingarten and receive his eventual report.
According to Martin, "We're pleased to have someone with Mr. Weingarten's background, credentials, and reputation take on this assignment. He is the perfect person to help us understand the facts and do the right thing during this difficult period."
These appointments make good on a promise made by Pilot Flying J C.E.O. Jimmy Haslam on April 22, where he said
"Our board will find the best person in America to come into this
situation and oversee and make certain that any and all of our own
investigations into these matters are thorough and correct and help us
ensure that what happened to this company never