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More Pilot Flying J employees leave, as lawyer cautions against drawing conclusions

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President Mark Hazelwood wasn’t the only employee of Pilot Flying J, the nationwide truck-stop chain run by Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, to leave the company on Monday.  But the company’s lawyer has downplayed any connection between the departures and the ongoing federal investigation regarding customer fraud.

“It would be very inappropriate and would be wildly speculative to infer or conclude anything at all from his departure,” lawyer Aubrey Harwell told WBIR-TV regarding Hazelwood.

In addition to Hazelwood, four other employees left the company on Monday, per the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and two others were placed on administrative leave.  Surely, the separations from employment didn’t happen spontaneously or coincidentally.

The development actually could be a sign that the company has a high degree of confidence that the employees can’t pin anything on the highest-ranking employee in the company — the guy whose ability to continue to own the Browns rides on his ability to avoid an indictment.  But since it would be very inappropriate and wildly speculative to infer or conclude anything at all, we won’t infer or conclude that the news ultimately flowing from the situation may actually be good.

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14 Responses to “More Pilot Flying J employees leave, as lawyer cautions against drawing conclusions”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: May 22, 2014 12:43 AM

    He could at least contribute an essay telling us what it means so we don’t have to waste time and risk getting anything wrong.

  2. fumblenuts says: May 22, 2014 2:31 AM

    Sounds like Enron with shredding machines working overtime….

  3. razorback2u says: May 22, 2014 3:43 AM

    The rats are leaving the sinking ship. The crooks are starting to crumble. So long it’s been good to know you, lol.

  4. drgreenstreak says: May 22, 2014 5:59 AM

    Haslam had absolutely nothing to do with the criminal activity that resulted in record profits now sitting in his bank.

  5. tinytoolalldrool says: May 22, 2014 6:16 AM

    Thank God he left the Steelers as part owner.

  6. Indybear says: May 22, 2014 6:35 AM

    Yeah. He didn’t know anything about what was going on. Right. Must be Chris Christie’s long lost brother.

  7. alewatcher says: May 22, 2014 6:46 AM

    It’s best to be out of the house when it burns down.

  8. mkar1835 says: May 22, 2014 7:29 AM

    Good news for Cleveland fans.

    Couple this news with the NBA draft lottery, sweeping the Tigers, drafting JFF.

    The 50 years of malaise is finally over.

  9. laxer37 says: May 22, 2014 8:31 AM

    Haslem apparently never met an employee he didn’t want to fire.

    Seriously, look at the amount of turnover within his businesses the Browns and Pilot. It’s astounding.

  10. irishdawg42 says: May 22, 2014 9:39 AM

    If you have an incompetent employee, wouldn’t you want them to find a job elsewhere?

    As a Browns fan, I have no problem with him holding employees accountable. More people in the NFL should lose their jobs and never be hired in the same capacity again, yet they get regurgitated to another team almost immediately. How is that even possible with their history in the public eye?

    Mike Lombardi should have never seen the light of day outside a prognosticator booth, yet he not only got a job with the Browns, he was fired for his incompetence, then hired very quickly by what some consider one of the more competent franchises in the league. How does this guy keep getting new contracts in this league?

  11. denverdude7 says: May 22, 2014 10:20 AM

    Fraud and theft of this magnitude doesn’t happen without the Big Kahuna knowing about it.

    A Federal indictment is only one thing Mr. Haslam should be worried about.

    If I were him, I would be more than a little concerned about a big-rig truck driven by one of the people he bankrupted running me off the road someday.

    (Ooops… sorry Jimmy, didn’t see ya there. You must have been in my blindspot)

    ; )

  12. scamuel says: May 22, 2014 12:02 PM

    The water hole has been poisoned and all the cattle are scattering (or is it the rats jumping off the sinking ship?)!

  13. oldcracker says: May 22, 2014 2:44 PM

    …and soon that leaves just one.

  14. ztigr says: May 22, 2014 7:23 PM

    Notice he didn’t say it would be incorrect…just that “it would be wildly speculative to infer or conclude anything at all from his departure”. I’ll be wild and conclude that it does have everything to do with it.

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