Skip to comments.G.M. Lawyers Hid Fatal Flaw, From Critics and One Another
Posted on 06/07/2014 10:44:33 AM PDT by jazusamo
DETROIT To the legal department at General Motors, secrecy ruled.
Employees were discouraged from taking notes in meetings. Workers emails were examined once a year for sensitive information that might be used against the company. G.M. lawyers even kept their knowledge of fatal accidents related to a defective ignition switch from their own boss, the companys general counsel, Michael P. Millikin.
An internal investigation released on Thursday into the companys failure to recall millions of defective small cars found no evidence of a cover-up. But interviews with victims, their lawyers and current and former G.M. employees, as well as evidence in the report itself, paint a more complete picture: The automakers legal department took actions that obscured the deadly flaw, both inside and outside the company.
While Mr. Millikin survived the dismissals this week of 15 G.M. employees tied to the delayed recall, his department was hit hard.
At least three senior lawyers are among the employees who lost their jobs as a result of the investigation conducted by the former United States attorney Anton R. Valukas.
Mr. Millikin was absolved of wrongdoing in the report. But the very secrecy that his department valued kept him from knowing about a safety crisis that has rocked the company, the report said.
One of the lawyers dismissed this week was William Kemp, who had been orchestrating G.M.s legal strategy and in-house investigations of the defective ignition switch for more than two years before the recall.
Yet it was not until early February, days after a high-level committee finally ordered the switch recall, that Mr. Kemp informed Mr. Millikin of the deadly consequences of the flawed part. G.M. has linked 13 deaths and 54 crashes to the defect.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Lawyers don’t use computers, company cell phones, or leave any trail of information. If they do, get a different attorney. Hand notes cryptic in nature, and in their heads.
Why would lawyers, whose work would supposedly be privileged, refrain from taking notes? Did they suspect that the law as written did not apply anymore? That laws were now whatever federal minder and bosses said they were and your notes could at any time be swept into an investigation?
Then again, why would the owners of the preferred bonds, people who sat in the offices of their investment advisors, and asked “What is the lowest risk and safest investment I can make”? suspect that their bonds would be stolen and that they would be called out as “Speculators” by the President of the United States?
It’s not just the lawyers, chief switch engineer, Raymond DeGiorgio flat out lied about the change in the switch and there certainly had to be others that knew about that change also.
just waiting for this to point to the White House , All Crime Points That Way these days
Wasn’t Government Motors owned and controlled by the federal government?
This fiasco started before the bailout but 0bama’s fair hair pick Dan Akerson was appointed chairman of the board in 2009 and became CEO in 2010 so after GM became Government Motors this fiasco was still ignored and/or covered up.
We’re from the government, and we’re here to help you.
Dozens if not hundreds of people killed or injured so GM could save 57 cents per ignition switch.
All those involved probably got a bonus for saving GM money.
Amen to that.
If the lawsuits snowball and put GM in danger of bankruptcy again the 0bama administration and the administration following had better let bankruptcy law be adhered to unlike the last time.
Taxpayers are NOT responsible for this fiasco in any way.
My daughter had a cobalt. I guess she is lucky to be alive. She loved that car too. This story is very disturbing. I should probably read the whole thing. The Times can still do a good job on some things, at least the writing can be decent.
Bill Vlasic at the Times has been on this story from the beginning and has done a good job of reporting. There are many other articles posted here at FR, enter keyword gm for them.
Thanks! I really didn’t realize how bad this was until I heard a radio news report on it the other day. When they are firing the lawyers you know the s*** has hit the fan big time.