DALLAS – Exxon Mobil is complaining about the way New York’s attorney general disclosed that former CEO and current Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used an alias email account, saying it damaged the company by generating “sensational coverage in the press.”
Exxon said in a court filing Thursday there was nothing wrong with Tillerson having two email accounts, and that questions about turning over records should have been resolved with the company before going public.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the alias account under the name Wayne Tracker — Wayne is Tillerson’s middle name — was used to discuss climate change and other issues. Schneiderman is investigating whether Exxon Mobil Corp. hid what it knew about climate change from investors and the public. He told a New York state court this week that Exxon failed to turn over all documents covered by his subpoena.
Exxon said in its filing that a system for preserving emails in legal cases failed to extend to the Wayne Tracker account, and it is looking into why that happened. The company said the issue probably didn’t have much effect on producing subpoenaed documents because many of the Wayne Tracker emails were copied to Tillerson’s regular account. Some were signed “Rex” or “RWT,” which the company said indicated no attempt at secrecy.
Amy Spitalnick, Schneiderman’s press secretary, said that 16 months after the subpoena, “Exxon is just now admitting it may not have preserved or produced the emails of its former CEO, who used an alias email account.”
Exxon is trying to beat back investigations in New York and Massachusetts into whether the company misled investors and the public about the risk that climate change posed for the oil and gas company.