Defense lawyer uses email to point to Jimmy Haslam in Pilot Flying J trial

Defense lawyer uses email to point to Jimmy Haslam in Pilot Flying J trial

November 14th, 2017 by The Knoxville News Sentinel in Local Regional News

This April 19, 2013, file photo shows Jimmy Haslam, CEO of Pilot Flying J, speaking during a press conference at the company headquarters in Knoxville, Tenn. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has struggled almost from the start of his administration to fulfill a campaign pledge to avoid handling matters relating to Pilot Flying J, the truck stop chain his family owns. Now, an FBI investigation of alleged fraud by the sales staff at the nation's largest diesel retailer has brought increased scrutiny and raised more questions about links between the governor and Pilot. (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File)

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

With the owner of a trucking company thumbing his nose at anything Pilot Flying J offered to garner his loyalty, Arnie Ralenkotter went straight to the top of the truck stop giant, emails showed.

In a July 2008 email sent directly to Pilot Flying J Chief Executive Officer Jimmy Haslam — without including then-president Mark Hazelwood — Ralenkotter outlined salesman Tim Prins' assessment of the situation the nation's largest diesel fuel retailer was having with Smith Transport.

Prins had explained that the owner of Smith Transport "has no interest in ever being loyal to one chain" and planned on collecting discounts from Pilot Flying J and competitor TravelCenters of America.

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