State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is firing back at an ethics complaint made by oil giant Chevron, calling it a a “baseless attempt by big oil to intimidate me.”
Chevron filed a complaint with the Joint Commission on Public Ethics today, asking for an investigation of DiNapoli’s relationship with attorneys for the plaintiffs in a case against Chevron dating back to the 1990s. Specifically, they point to various campaign contributions made by people associated with ongoing litigation surrounding pollution in Ecuador.
Here’s DiNapoli’s response, sent out by his office a few minutes ago:
This is a baseless attempt by big oil to intimidate me and it won’t work. The allegations are without merit.
Since 2004, the New York State Common Retirement Fund, along with dozens of leading investors worldwide, has called on Chevron to settle its nearly two-decade-long legal battle for polluting the Amazon. Chevron refuses. This effort is about protecting shareholder value and fulfilling my fiduciary responsibility to the New York State Common Retirement Fund.
Instead of owning up to its corporate responsibility, time and again Chevron has denied its responsibility, distorted the facts and ignored the ruling of a court of law.
I am confident that JCOPE will see through this blatant attempt to intimidate responsible shareholders who dare to question Chevron’s actions.