Chevron Files Ethics Complaint Against New York State Comptroller Thomas
Complaint details apparent breaches of ethical duties to the citizens of the
State of New York
SAN RAMON, Calif. -- November 20, 2012
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) filed a complaint before the New York State Joint
Commission on Public Ethics today, seeking an investigation of New York State
Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli as well as current and past members of his staff
for multiple violations of New York Public Officers Law.
Chevron’s complaint relates to ongoing litigation in Ecuador and demonstrates
how Comptroller DiNapoli, who oversees the New York State Common Retirement
Fund, which, according to SEC filings, owns more than $800 million of Chevron
stock, apparently breached his ethical and fiduciary duties. Under New York
Public Officers Law, public officials are prohibited from having “any
interest, financial or otherwise…which is in substantial conflict with the
proper discharge of his duties in the public interest.” Evidence shows that
Comptroller DiNapoli used his office to support the Ecuadorian plaintiffs’
lawyers’ scheme to pressure Chevron into settling the lawsuit in exchange for
benefits received from the plaintiffs’ representatives.
The plaintiffs’ supporters, amongst other things, have made direct financial
contributions to DiNapoli’s campaign in excess of $60,000 and have given him
other political benefits. In an apparent quid pro quo exchange, DiNapoli has
given his unwavering support and used his public office to take actions on
behalf of the plaintiffs, such as sponsoring shareholder resolutions and
making public statements against Chevron that were explicitly intended to
pressure the company to settle the fraudulent lawsuit.
“The Comptroller’s continued advocacy has come despite repeated findings by
U.S. federal courts that the Ecuador litigation is tainted by fraud,” said
Hewitt Pate, Chevron vice president and general counsel. “Mr. DiNapoli’s
actions serve only his political patrons, not the citizens of the State of New
York or the beneficiaries of the Common Retirement Fund. This type of quid pro
quo behavior is an apparent breach of ethical and legal responsibilities that
Comptroller DiNapoli took office in 2007 after his predecessor, Alan Hevesi,
left office under allegations of misconduct, including a pay-for-play scandal
that ultimately resulted in prison time.
Note to Editors:
Chevron is defending itself against false allegations that it is responsible
for alleged environmental and social harms in the Oriente region of Ecuador.
Chevron never conducted oil production operations in Ecuador, and its
subsidiary Texaco Petroleum Co. (“TexPet”) fully remediated its share of
environmental impacts arising from oil production operations, before leaving
Ecuador in 1992. After the remediation was certified by all agencies of the
Ecuadorian government responsible for oversight, TexPet received a complete
release from Ecuador's national, provincial, and municipal governments that
extinguished all claims before Chevron acquired TexPet in 2001. All legitimate
scientific evidence exonerates Chevron and proves that the remediated sites
pose no significant risks to human health or the environment.
More information on the plaintiffs' lawyers' fraud can be found here.
Additional background on the Ecuador litigation can be accessed here and here.
Chevron is one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies, with
subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide. The company is involved in
virtually every facet of the energy industry. Chevron explores for, produces
and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes
transportation fuels and lubricants; manufactures and sells petrochemical
products; generates power and produces geothermal energy; provides energy
efficiency solutions; and develops the energy resources of the future,
including biofuels. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif. More information
about Chevron is available at www.chevron.com.
Kent Robertson, San Ramon, California, +1-925-790-3819
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