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.