|Bill and Brad|
Brad is an old family connection, going back to the day when Bill was wasting away in the family truck stop business over piles of oil and gas receipts.
Brad made little Bill a big shot with Saks in New York, thus launching him into a political world that likes its predatory capitalists to look like aging schoolboys. See Bill Gates. See Bill Haslam. Charming.
In 2013, Haslam returned the favor by putting Martin in the interim President's chair at the University of Memphis, just a couple of months after Martin had been handpicked to head the "internal" company investigation for Pilot Flying J Oil Company, which the FBI charged had a history of keeping millions of dollars in diesel fuel rebates that belonged to trucking companies. These charges proved to be correct, and the case remains open even today.
Martin was surely a good pick, as he had his own experience in surviving a fraud investigation at Saks some years earlier. From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- R. Brad Martin was chief executive of Saks Inc. a decade ago when the luxury retailer was embroiled in a fraud investigation that found the company wrongly kept millions of dollars owed to clothing suppliers.As interim president at UofM, Martin set out to initiate as many of corporate education's losing ideas as he could. Chief among them was to get the Seligman-KIPP connected, David Rudd, involved in the scheme to set up the bogus teacher training corporation, Relay, in the middle of the College of Education. Martin was also instrumental in making sure that the Chancellor of Higher Ed, John Morgan, was entirely briefed on Rudd's work and close ties with local and national oligarchs, including the Hyde family and Bill Gates.
Martin today is the board member at Knoxville, Tenn.-based Pilot Flying J who will sign off on an internal investigation into whether Pilot kept millions of dollars in fuel rebates owed to trucking companies.
The similarities between the two cases and the close ties between Martin and Pilot CEO Jimmy Haslam -- for years they've moved in the same social circles and their family summer homes are a stone's throw from each other in the Smoky Mountains -- make some question whether Martin can be objective about any findings of fraud at Pilot.
"At the very least there was a cloud over his tenure at Saks," said Christopher Ideker, a forensic accountant who has participated in many audit committee investigations for companies. "To me, you have a guy calling the shots on an investigation about stealing from customers who was investigated for stealing from vendors. That seems pretty straightforward.". . . .
Below is the final paragraph of a letter sent by Martin to Morgan during the final days of the selection process, during the time Morgan was strong-armed into choosing Rudd as President over more qualified candidates.