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The Wall Street Journal reports that Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott has written a letter to company shareholders denying charges that the corporation conducted surveillance operations against both its board of directors and dissident stockholder groups believed to be hostile to management’s plans.

Those allegations originally were made in the Journal based on interviews with Bruce Gabbard, a security expert fired by the retailer after it was learned that he had been taping phone calls between a New York Times reporter and company executives without authorization.

Now, not only is Scott denying the charges, but he says that Wal-Mart’s attorneys have obtained an affidavit from Gabbard saying that his previous statements were false. This despite the fact that, according to the Journal, “After the April 4 story ran, Mona Williams, a vice president for corporate communications, called Wall Street Journal Dallas Bureau Chief Neal Templin to say the story had been fairly handled though Wal-Mart wished the Journal hadn't run it.”

Scott wrote in his letter that "some of the most disturbing assertions reported in The Wall Street Journal simply are not true" and that "no such surveillance occurred and that no information regarding any shareholder proponent was obtained improperly or through obtrusive means.”
KC's View:
One has to wonder if Scott and his consigliere made Gabbard an offer he couldn’t refuse…

Also, we wonder why Wal-Mart pushed for a judge to grant a temporary restraining order barring Gabbard from disclosing confidential information if he wasn’t doing the kind of surveillance that would have given him access to confidential information.

Curiouser and curiouser.

The thing is, all the letters in the world from Lee Scott aren’t going to convince some people that he’s telling the truth. In fact, they will just serve to reinforce the notion that Wal-Mart is engaged in a cover-up because it has something to hide.