Former Pilot employee defends Jimmy Haslam

Former Pilot employee defends Jimmy Haslam (Image 1)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A former employee for Pilot Flying J told 6 News he believes CEO Jimmy Haslam was not aware of the alleged rebate scheme based on his experiences with the leader of the Knoxville-based diesel giant.

“I don't feel Jimmy would approve of people treating his customers that way,” the employee said. “He's got his name and his reputation.”

The former employee did not want to reveal his identity but said he worked as a general manager for Flying J in Florida.

While he admitted his interactions with Haslam were limited, he said he doesn't buy the accusations that Haslam approved Pilot employees cheating trucking companies out of rebates.

“In my opinion, had he known the extent of this, he would definitely been more involved.”

The former employee described Haslam as a transparent leader.

“He'd leave his cell phone number and if any manager needed him told them to give him a call.”

As for the offensive language in the affidavit, the employee said he never witnessed Pilot workers talking to each other in such a way.

The affidavit includes recorded conversations of several Pilot Flying J employees using expletives and in some cases, even using what could be considered racially insensitive language.

“From my experience, that definitely did not happen. I was embarrassed for Jimmy and the company.”

Another lawsuit was filed against Haslam last Thursday.

Bruce Taylor of Mississippi claims he purchased diesel fuel from Pilot Flying J for commercial use, and believes he is now owed money from the alleged rebate scam.

Taylor's attorney is asking for a class action lawsuit which would allow other trucking companies in similar situations to join the lawsuit.

This comes as other lawsuits were filed in Arkansas and Alabama last week.

In Knox County four trucking companies have joined the lawsuit against Pilot.

Read the latest lawsuit:

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