Chevron hits NY Comptroller with ethics complaint

Thomas DiNapoli

Chevron has filed a complaint with the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics against state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli in connection with the company's ongoing litigation in Ecuador, Chevron announced 20 November 2012.

Chevron's complaint alleges that DiNapoli used his position as sole trustee to the state's retirement fund to support the plaintiffs in the Ecuadorean lawsuit and participated in a "quid pro quo" exchange with their supporters.

'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,' said Hewitt Pate, Chevron vice president and general counsel. 'This type of quid pro quo behavior is an apparent breach of ethical and legal responsibilities that warrants investigation.'

The New York State Common Retirement Fund holds approximately $800 million worth of Chevron stock. As sole trustee, DiNapoli has backed shareholder resolutions and issued press statements urging Chevron to settle with the plaintiffs of the Ecuadorean lawsuit.

DiNapoli pubically denied Chevron's allegations in a statement on the New York Comptroller website.

'This is a baseless attempt by big oil to intimidate me and it won't work,' DiNapoli said. 'The allegations are without merit.'

Chevron is fighting an $18 billion judgment levied against the company in Ecuador for its subsidiary Texaco Petroleum's part in allegedly dumping drilling wastes in the Oriente region of the South American country in the 1970s and 1980s.

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