Separate Board Counsel And The Importance Of Independence

26 June 2012
New York Law Journal
On April 21, 2012, The New York Times reported allegations that Wal-Mart's Mexico operations made $24 million in improper payments to expedite government approvals to build stores.1 According to the Times, Wal-Mart management investigated the payments and detected improprieties, but opted for a "preliminary inquiry" by in-house investigators rather than a full-blown internal investigation.2 The final report of the investigation, which concluded that "[t]here is no evidence or clear indication…of bribes paid to Mexican government authorities with the purpose of wrongfully securing any licenses or permits," was authored by an individual who allegedly participated in the alleged misconduct.