Pilot Flying J Judge rules jury to hear Hazelwood's "vile" comments tomorrow
Judge Curtis Collier, pictured above, ruled yesterday to allow the jury to hear "vile" remarks made by the former President of Pilot Flying J, Mark Hazelwood.
Hazelwood's remarks were directed against black and Hispanic Americans, women, Clevelanders, and its football team, the Cleveland Browns. The remarks, captured on an FBI wiretap, will be played to jurors when Judge Collier resumes Hazelwood's criminal trial on Jan. 10th.
The trial is in the U.S. Federal District Court of Eastern Tennessee, in Chattanooga. Hazelwood is charged with tampering with a witness, fraud, and conspiracy. Other former Pilot employees have plead guilty to similar charges and are facing up to 20 years in jail.
“Mr. Hazelwood’s utterances are beyond the pale,” said Judge Collier. “Several subordinates of Mr. Hazelwood were present. Mr. Hazelwood was in a position of authority over them."
“If it became known the President of Pilot engaged in vile, despicable, inflammatory racial epithets against African Americans, this could lead to boycotts and protests,” Collier said.
Flying Pilot J issued a press release last night. It said Hazelwood's remarks "were troubling". It also noted that the remarks were made by a "former employee", and is contrary "to company values".
Two weeks before Hazelwood's trial started, Pilot Flying J agreed to pay his legal fees.
Jimmy Haslam, CEO of Pilot Flying J, has never been charged with any criminal wrongdoing. He was never given immunity and can still be charged.
Haslam has no part in the Hazelwood trial. Haslam restated Thursday's press release in the video below:
For more of who is Mark Hazelwood, read: