She says they accepted trips and gifts from clients and benefited from preferential prices on jewelry and yachts, implying that maybe that makes it okay that she broke the company's ethics policy by accepting gifts from agencies pitching the Wal-Mart account last November and having what seems to have been a heated affair with a subordinate.
According to The New York Times, the filing says "While Wal-Mart asserts that it has policies which prohibit conflicts of interest and the misuse of Wal-Mart assets and opportunities, those policies do not seem to prevent its executives from using both to personal advantage.”
The story is also generating buzz at The Wall Street Journal and CNN Money. Each publisher has a slightly different take on the story, ranging from outlining Roehm's claims in some detail to brushing them off as a weak defense.
It's difficult to tell what the court might think, given this tactic seems to play more to the media than her case. On the quick, it reminds me of a defense similar to one my then 7-year-old son cooked up about a year ago. "Why were you throwing rocks at that house?" I asked. So-and-so "threw rocks at the house first" was his defense. Ho hum.
Since her termination last December, Roehm has fared the worst of the three most cited in this case study. Other than landing a gig at Sports Illustrated, most businesses have given her a lukewarm reception since she filed the wrongful termination case against Wal-Mart. Meanwhile, DraftFCB won K-mart and Wal-Mart stocks are up on the market.