By on June 3, 2015

Rick Wagoner TTAC Style

Former General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner will be among those deposed by the lawyers heading the lawsuit against GM over the February 2014 ignition recall.

Wagoner, who led GM from 2001 until his dismissal by the Obama administration in 2009, will be questioned by Texas attorney Robert Hilliard about his knowledge of the events leading to the recall of over 2.6 million vehicles over defective ignitions linked to as many as 109 deaths and over 200 injuries, The Detroit News reports. Hilliard is also seeking depositions from “every CEO who was there during the active coverup” prior to Mary Barra’s ascension to the role, those being Fritz Henderson, Ed Whitacre and Dan Akerson.

Others to be deposed by Hilliard and his team of lawyers include former GM general counsel Michael Millikin and attorney Anton Valukas, the latter hired by the automaker to conduct and report the investigation into the events leading to the recall.

Over 55 individuals are scheduled to give their depositions prior to Hilliard et al moving forward with their class action lawsuit in January 2016, with Barra closing out the process with her deposition October 3. Wagoner’s time before the attorneys is set for September 2, and most of the depositions will be conducted in Detroit.

[Photo credit: General Motors]

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17 Comments on “Former GM CEO Rick Wagoner To Give Deposition Over February 2014 Recall...”

  • avatar

    Can we start a GM prison watch?

    Oh wait, wait, wait, sorry, people like Wagoner never go to prison.*

    * Unless they were really really stupid.

    • 0 avatar

      Well, Rick might qualify, then.

    • 0 avatar

      I expect that there are several layers of “plausible deniability” wrapped around all of the CEOs. Middle mgmt should be very afraid, though.

      • 0 avatar

        It is worth noting that Ken Lay of Enron and Bernie Ebbers of WorldCom went to prison — but both were incredibly stupid at the level of egregious financial behavior.

        If DoJ can make anything stick on slick Rick, they’ll stick to him and make and example out of him. The fury of a thousand automotive bailouts will fall on his head. IF they can connect something to him.

        I agree that there is probably a thick blanket of plausible deniability around him – but you never know.

    • 0 avatar

      This is a deposition for a civil lawsuit, not a criminal case. No one goes to jail for that.

  • avatar

    The photo of Wagoner used should be in black and white with an embedded thunder sound effect, like in a political attack ad.

    You know, just for fun.

  • avatar

    Wreck it Rick!

  • avatar

    With or without his cloak of invisibility?
    Ah well, perhaps he’s looking to cooperate in the hopes of plea bargaining his way into the witness protection program. Or a full-ride scholarship a
    to Clown College.

    • 0 avatar

      Hey, don’t knock clown college. I heard a news story once (on NPR, I think) and it’s pretty hard to get through (or even into) clown college. Apparently comedy is serious business.

  • avatar

    “Active coverup” suggests intent, when this is pretty clearly institutional incompetence. Broken engineering change management and endless infighting between vehicle programs does not intent make.

  • avatar

    If anyone deserves to go to prison it is this con man. I am sure he made enough money to pay for the best lawyers at the expense of the shareholders, bondholders and US public.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. And corporate criminals if convicted should be sent to supermax prisons where the only uniform they are allowed is a pink tutu.

    • 0 avatar

      As much as I’m not a fan, Rick Wagoner was just the last in a long line of placeholders, and frankly the whole GM board of directors owes as much or more responsibility for this decades-long trainwreck.

      BoDs are supposed to hold the executive to account, but GM’s didn’t do this, and they didn’t do it for years. This isn’t unique to GM: many companies have utterly dysfunctional boards—Hewlett-Packard comes immediately to mind—but it’s a real and growing problem. Interlock at the board level has effectively destroyed governance.

      Now, if you want to know who should be in prison, well, I’d say the top third of management at AIG, Lehmann and/or Goldman-Sachs would be a good start.

      • 0 avatar

        Agreed. The lost opportunity with the GM reorganization was Obama’s failure to force the resignation of the entire Board of Directors as a condition of the bailout. A strong message to corporate America would have been sent: If you’re at the helm of a company so badly run that it needs the kind of assistance GM received, then you don’t deserve to continue leading it. He missed it with the banks, too. I support much of this President’s agenda and actions, but the corporate bailouts failed to address the “interlock” problem you mentioned, and it continues unabated.

  • avatar

    “I do not recall that conversation.” This would be great for laughs if people weren’t dead.

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